Your natural resource!
FEED AND SUPPLEMENTS
FOOD FIGHT Understanding the WHYS behind food AGGRESSION
How to treat and avoid these muscle disorders
Can veterinary COLD LASER THERAPY help your horse?
A NEW TWIST IN
Supplement Regulations Display until December 3, 2012 $5.95 uSA/Canada
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to saddle fit
GRIEVING? How to help your horse say goodbye
VOLUME 7 ISSUE 5
HOOF FORM How it effects limb function and conformation
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VOLUME 7 ISSUE 5 editorial dePartMeNt EDItor-IN-ChIEF: Dana Cox EDItor: Kelly howling EDItor: Ann Brightman grAPhIC DESIgNEr: Dawn Cumby-Dallin grAPhIC DESIgNEr: Kathleen Atkinson CoVEr PhotogrAPhY: Dizajune
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IMPROVING THE LIVES OF ANIMALS... ONE READER AT A TIME.
TOPICS INCLUDE: disease prevention natural diets and nutrition natural health care
product recommendations integrative Vet Q & A gentle training, and so much more!
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Proper nutrition is important for horses of all ages! This cute sorrel Paint filly is getting started off on the right hoof with plenty of forage.
Features 10 a leG to stanD on
26 Winter Warm-up
48 Hot spots
how hoof form affects your horse’s limb function and conformation.
here are the top four warming herbs you can offer him this winter.
14 FooD FiGHt
30 all tieD up
51 DiD you KnoW?
34 unDerstanDinG eleCtrolyte use
52 Girl talK
Proper hydration is key to your horse’s health and wellness.
Five saddle fit keys to comfort for female riders.
38 a neW tWist
understanding the whys behind food aggression will go a long way towards retraining this habit.
18 riDinG tHe WaVe Veterinary cold laser therapy can be a helpful aid for treating equine tendon/ligament injuries, as well as for rehabilitation and performance enhancement.
22 sellinG points
In a saturated market, it’s getting more and more challenging to find horses new homes. Learn how to give your horse a leg up to his future.
take a look at the variety of muscle disorders that fall into the category described by this broad and generic term.
New regulations are being established for equine joint supplement manufacturers.
42 is He GrieVinG?
horses experience bereavement in remarkably similar ways to us. here’s how to help your equine through the loss of an equine friend.
Does your horse seem sore? For answers, look first to these two main problem areas.
Many of us look for organic products for ourselves and our horses. But how do you know if what you are purchasing is truly organic?
Feeding technology that mimics the natural grazing habits of your horse.
8 Neighborhood news
37 Product picks
55 DVD reviews
46 Equine Wellness resource guide
56 Holistic veterinary advice
59 Marketplace 61 Classifieds 62 Events
e are often told “you are what you eat”, and this goes for our horses as well. So how do we know what to feed them? If you board your horse out, you may not even know what he’s getting, since the barn manager quite often develops each horse’s feed program. This past summer, I took over the management of a large boarding facility for a few months while the barn was in transition of ownership. I had the time of my life getting to know all of the staff, boarders and horses better – not to mention waking up to horses just outside my window every morning! But one aspect of my job was managing everyone’s feeding programs – including pasture management during our exceedingly dry season, along with hay, grain and supplement programs. At first it seemed a bit daunting – I had binders full of information on nutrients, percentages and different feeds. In the end I broke it down and went through each horse’s information on an individual basis to evaluate his workload, needs and considerations, and to come up with a program tailored to that particular horse. It reminded me that there’s no “one size fits all” program for equines as a whole. Sure, their ancestors all ate largely the same forages and grains – and returning to a “keep it
simple” naturally inclined diet is a great way to go. But depending on where you live, the pasture available to your horse, his health conditions, workload, and so on – what works for one or most may not work for all. One horse may need a little more, a little less, something extra, and so on. In this issue, you’ll find great information to help you decide what is best for your particular horse(s). If you feed joint supplements or organic products, you’ll want to check out our articles by Dr. Wendy Pearson and Connie Kehler describing the regulations involved with those industries and what to watch for. And if you’ve got a horse that makes sour faces when you go to give him his feed, Scot Hansen’s tips on retraining this behavior will come in handy. Finally, heading into the cold winter months we’ve got some wonderful advice on warming herbs from Jessica Lynn of Earth Song Ranch, including a neat recipe for a special equine tea. Now how civilized is that?! Wishing you an enjoyable Autumn,
Neighborhood News New Vocations receives more than $50,000 in grants to aid thoroughbred adoption efforts New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program has announced that grants totaling $54,360 have been awarded by Blue Horse Charities and Thoroughbred Charities of America to aid the program’s efforts to rehab, retrain, and re-home retired racehorses. “We are very grateful to receive both grants as we have found ourselves in a great time of need with the current drought. Hay prices have doubled and the cost of caring for the horses in our program continues to rise” shared Program Director Anna Ford. “We have new horses arriving into the program on a weekly basis and it’s only through grants and private donations that our doors have remained open.” Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) selected New Vocations as one of the 82 Thoroughbred industry-related nonprofits that have been awarded TCA grants totaling $597,258. Those chosen work to uphold TCA’s mission “to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers”. New Vocations continues to lead the nation in racehorse adoptions, placing a record 429 horses into carefully screened homes in 2011 and over 4,000 through their doors since its inception in 1992. Starting with a single farm in Dayton, Ohio, the program has grown to have six facilities located in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. horseadoption.com
The internationally renowned equestrian and multimedia touring show Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse has agreed to donate the materials that comprise the ﬂoor of the Cavalia stage to Riley’s Place, a non-profit organization that provides underprivileged or chronically ill children the opportunity to interact with animals. Footing, the high-quality ground material used for the staging area of the Cavalia horse arena, would normally cost thousands of dollars but with this donation, Cavalia will be offering the local youth at Riley’s Place the opportunity to receive horseback riding lessons on a professional grade track. “This wonderful partnership with Cavalia will enable Riley’s Place to better fulfill its mission of making amazing animal experiences available to very special kids,” said Riley’s Place Co-Founder and Executive Director Wendy Mattes. “Some issues are just too big for kids: homelessness, abuse, cancer. Through Riley’s Place, children can touch and be touched by their experiences with horses and other animals. Thanks to Cavalia’s donation, we can provide this wonder to many more children.”
Photo courtesy of François Bergeron.
Cavalia donation to make riding possible for disadvantaged youth
2012 marks clean Games in equestrian sports FEI President HRH Princess Haya is proud to announce that London 2012 was a clean Games for equestrian sport, following confirmation that all human and equine samples taken during the Olympic equestrian events at Greenwich Park were negative. “The FEI had a really steep mountain to climb after Athens and Hong Kong, but we had a clean Youth Olympic Games, a clean FEI World Equestrian Games and now we’ve crowned it with a clean Olympic Games in London,” Princess Haya said. “We knew that fair play and clean sport was the only way to produce top sport in the Olympic equestrian events and we are very proud that we have achieved that goal.”
Equisens unveils smart ride balance sensing system Equisens launched its new Smart Ride balance sensing system at Cornerstone Event Management’s Cool August Nights Dressage and Breed Show at the L.A. Equestrian Center in Burbank, California. The patent-pending Smart Ride balance sensing system is a compact training device designed to be worn by riders to actively detect and report lateral balance while they ride. The system consists of a fabric pad containing dozens of forcesensing areas, a compact, lightweight microprocessor controller powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and Lycra® and full seat grip short breeches that accurately hold the sensors in position. Balance is reported via a super-bright LED (light-emitting diode) and a pair of “buzzers”, similar to the vibrate mode of a Smartphone, placed left and right at the waistline of the rider. Hundreds of times each second, Smart Ride measures force exerted by the rider against the saddle and continuously feeds the results into the controller. Calculations are performed for variations in the location and composition of each sensor and the contribution each makes towards a balanced seat. equi-sens.com
Successful low-cost gelding program expanding to more states National Equine Resource Network’s (NERN) low-cost gelding clinic drive that has already gelded over 150 California horses in 2012 will be expanding to other states this fall. “Our goal has always been to develop a model that will work anywhere. We believe that with the success of our pilot program in California we’ve done just that,” stated Shirley Puga, NERN Executive Director. “Now it’s time to take it on the road.” NERN’s low cost gelding clinics have allowed horse owners, struggling in today’s economy, to geld their horses via leading equine vets for $75 per animal – a nominal fee compared to the average cost for this procedure of $150-300 or more. nationalequine.org
Dreams do come true In November of 2004 Nimue, a granddaughter of two famous Gypsy stallions (The Gypsy King and The Lion King) arrived at Once Upon A Farm in Picton, Ontario and became Canada’s first Gypsy Vanner Horse! As the farm name suggests, Nimue’s arrival was a fairy tale come true for owners Dan and Julia O’Neill, who fell in love with the breed during a visit to the U.S. Nimue has since been joined by Crystal, an imported Lion King daughter. These two amazing mares form the foundation of the O’Neill’s breeding program, which has really taken off. Their traditional type Gypsy Vanner horses boast pedigrees that include The Lion King, The Gypsy King, The Old Black Horse, The Road Sweeper and Tumbleweed. “Our breeding goals at Once Upon A Farm are simply to breed Gypsy Vanner Horses with the beauty that first caught my eye, and the intelligence and temperament that won our hearts” explains Julia. “Abundant mane, tail and feather are icing on the cake!” gypsyvannerhorses.ca
From the front, the coronet band should appear level and straight – any humps or deviations in shape indicate uneven pressure. From the rear, your horse’s heel bulbs should be thick, round and low to the ground. You should be able to fit one or two fingers comfortably between the bulbs.
From the bottom, the frogs should be thick, dense, triangular pads, blending smoothly with the heel bulbs to form a “heart” shape. The sole should be smooth and convex, forming a bowl. The bearing surface of the heel should be level with the widest point of the frog, and the hoof wall should be approximately the same thickness all the way around.
The white line should be a solid elastic “seal” all the way around. Any black material or gaps in the white line are not acceptable and your horse could present with lameness until this is rectified.
by CatHerine KatsirDaKis anD lisa HuHn
Take a look at how hoof form affects your horse’s limb function and conformation.
and soundness – physically, emotionally and mentally.
What is good hoof form? A few simple guidelines can be used to assess whether your horse has healthy hoof form.
an foot form really affect a horse’s conformation conformation? Rest assured it can and does – in fact, it affects much more than From the side, your horse’s hoof that! The condition, overall shape and should look triangular. With the limb fully functioning of your horse’s feet influence weighted, the hairline (or coronet band) not only his posture, stance, attitude, should be straight and resting at a 30° angle. personality and movement, but also The front (dorsal) his bodily functions such as circulation, angle should be lymph function, digestion and muscle roughly 45° to 50° development. We will even go so far to in the forelimbs say that foot form and function have a and 50° to 55° in great influence on your horse’s trainability the hind limbs.
Did you know? Front and hind feet have significantly different shapes, which develop after birth to accommodate their differing purposes. The fronts should be quite round (or even triangular in shape with the rear of the foot being the widest) and very symmetrical in appearance. The symmetrical shape of front hooves provides proper weight bearing, shock absorption and dissipates concussion upon landing. The hinds have more of a “spade” shape – they are the basis of proper locomotion. The inner (medial) portion of the hind foot should be slightly narrower than the outer (lateral) portion. The horse uses the steeper medial wall for digging into the ground, gaining traction during takeoffs or on difficult footing. The wide lateral portion of the hind foot aids the horse during collection. If you’re a dressage rider, imagine the collection capable of a horse working on full, healthy uncontracted hooves! A rarity in today’s upper level horses.
Front and hind feet have significantly different shapes, which develop after birth to accommodate their differing purposes.
Common pathologies Contraction refers to an excessively narrow foot, with heels and bulbs pinched together. This is one of the most common pathologies afflicting domestic horses today. Contracted feet can be linked to a host of behavioral problems such as bucking, rearing, teeth grinding, tripping, headshaking, rushing or balking. Jumping horses with contracted hooves will be “dirty stoppers” – refusing to jump fences with the shock-absorbing system in their feet compromised. These are often horses who will “bronc” or bolt away from the landing side after jumping.
Thrush always goes hand in hand with contraction. When the heel bulbs are pinched together, the frog is also stressed, pinched and crowded. It will atrophy and shrivel up which makes it susceptible to ever-present opportunistic bacteria and fungi. Many horse owners do not recognize thrush because it is so common. We are told to occasionally apply some caustic goo in blue, purple or green and forget about it. What is not realized is the impact unhealthy frog pads can have on limb function. When the frog pad is hurt, the horse will begin to avoid using them and land “toe first”. This landing limits the horse’s stride
the condition, overall shape and functioning of your horse’s feet inﬂuence not only his posture, stance, attitude, personality and movement, but also his bodily functions such as circulation, lymph function, digestion and muscle development. here we see how a different trim improved this horse’s stance. equine wellness
the problem. If your horse has a coronary band injury, he will probably grow out a thin crack like a scar. This should not affect his performance.
Medial/lateral imbalance refers to a horse whose hooves are imbalanced left to right. Shockingly, many horses are trimmed and/or shod out of balance for years at a time! These horses often have uneven arthritic changes in the joints of the lower limb (appearing as hard “bubbly” material surrounding the joints). This imbalance can be a major contributor to ringbone and sidebone. Improvements can be made to these conditions through regular, balanced trimming, resulting in increased comfort and longevity for your horse.
range by several inches, and the compromised use of the limb with each stride predisposes him to soft tissue injuries such as tendon or suspensory injuries. Long term, this type of movement leads to navicular or DDFT lameness. Thrush pain can also cause a horse to stand over at the knee; commonly considered a conformation fault, this flaw can often be “cured” with improved hoof management!
Flares are one of the most preventable hoof pathologies, and a major contributor to winging/paddling gaits.
3 4 5
Under-run heels are also known as “under-slung” or “crushed” heels. This condition is often confused with a horse that “doesn’t grow heel” or has “no heel”. In fact, these horses generally have excess amounts of heel, but it is easily overlooked because it grows on a dramatically forward plane. These horses can be predisposed to bowed tendons and suspensory injuries. Flares are one of the most preventable hoof pathologies, and a major contributor to winging/paddling gaits. Simply provide a balanced trim at regular intervals, and flares will become a non-issue in your horses. Some horses do need a shorter trimming/shaping schedule of just a few weeks to gain control and heal the flare thoroughly. Do not leave your horse for months between trims. Cracks and chipping are also very preventable. Balanced trimming at short intervals will “cure” chronic cracking problems. If your horse has quarter cracks, or chips in the quarters, he is receiving a “flat” or non-functioning trim. He is simply shedding excess material. Trimming to accommodate the natural plane of the foot will eliminate
Did you know? All hoofed mammals on our planet have similar attributes to their feet. These include round front hooves, spadeshaped hinds, and a flexible pad towards the rear of the foot. Every single one of these mammals, including the horse, has a natural arch in their feet, which allows for optimal hemodynamics. Flat trims hinder circulation.
Five hearts When a healthy and fully functioning equine foot strikes the ground, it will expand approximately 3mm to 5mm and fill with cushioning blood. As the foot leaves the ground, it contracts, expelling blood from the foot. The action of your horse’s feet assists his heart in pumping blood throughout the limbs and body, as if he has five hearts. Certain pathologies can disrupt this process, restricting blood flow and limiting the function of his feet. Now think – if four of your horse’s “hearts” are constricted, how is the fifth to function at full capacity? Imagine the potential of your horse if he were able to fully utilize all his resources. As you can see, a properly formed and functioning foot affects your horse’s entire well being. Pay close attention to his hooves, and address any imbalances and pathologies with your trimmer as they arise, for optimal health and performance.
CONNECTION TRIMINOLOGY 101 FIELD EQ AWAKENINGS STUDY CENTER IN ALBERTA. SHE CALLS HERSELF A LIFETIME STUDENT OF THE HORSE. CATHERINE KATSIRDAKIS IS A CERTIFIED EQAT LIVING NORTH OF FERGUS, ONTARIO. SHE IS THE AUTHOR OF
STUDY GUIDE, AND THE FOUNDER OF EQUINEXTION.COM AND THE
IS CURRENTLY KEEPING A CLIENT BASE FOR TRIMMING AND HAS A FACILITY WHERE SHE BRINGS CLIENT HORSES IN FOR REHABILITATION.
TRIMINOLOGY 101 BY LISA HUHN.
MORE INFORMATION READ THE TEXTBOOK
Food Fight Does your horse make ugly faces at feeding time, threaten to bite or even kick? Understanding the whys behind food aggression will go a long way towards retraining this habit. by sCot Hansen
Food is one of a horse’s most important resources, and no matter how much you give him he is always possessive about what he has. In order to keep that food, horses will become aggressive. Most are merely food aggressive when it comes to other horses, but there are those that include humans in their herd and will also become aggressive with their owners. There are two kinds of aggression – true aggressive, and false aggressive. It is important you know which category your horse falls into before you try to correct him, or you’ll just make him worse.
False aggression A false aggressive horse is usually the one that pins his ears at feeding time. He typically does this as you approach and often leaves his ears pinned while being fed. He will usually let you feed him and pet him. This is false aggression. I feel sorry for these horses. They’re the ones at shows that are
usually treated badly. Everyone labels them aggressive because they pin their ears as people walk by. All the horse is doing is asking for food the only way he knows how, by begging everyone with his ears. As each person walks by and ignores the horse, or in some cases gets mad at him, he stands there confused and unable to understand why the “trick” he has learned no longer works. So how was this “trick” learned?
In the case above, the horse has accidentally learned to ask for food by pinning his ears and is not actually being aggressive. It usually happens by accident, and because the owner is in a hurry at feeding time, she reinforces it every day. It starts like this: the horse in the stall or paddock sees food coming and pins his ears to warn other horses to stay away. He will do this even if the other horse is in another stall or paddock. It is just a natural reaction for some horses to let the other ones know they need to keep clear. At the same time as
the ears are pinned, the owner throws in the food. The horse says to himself, “Wow, I just realized if I pin my ears they throw me food.” The next day it happens again. Within two to three feedings, the horse is convinced that pinning his ears does two things: it keeps other horses away, and makes the food come through the feed window. It is easy to identify this type of horse. He usually pins his ears at feeding time, and typically doesn’t care if you pet him or hang out with him while he eats. You can usually take the food away without much fuss.
However, there is a huge problem coming for this horse and owner. These horses sometimes appear aggressive when they are not. This usually happens when someone is standing there with the food chatting with someone else and not feeding it to the horse. As the horse waits with his ears pinned and nothing happens, he will sometimes make an aggressive move towards whoever has the food. Immediately, someone wants to correct him and exclaims how nasty he has become – not true!
All the horse is doing is asking for food the only way he knows how, by begging everyone with his ears. What has actually happened is like you raising your voice to someone to get something done. The horse cannot speak, so instead of raising his voice for emphasis, he raises his actions. In this case, the horse pinned his ears and said, “Throw me my food please.” When that did not happen, he then raised his voice and request by making a false lunge or snapping his teeth, stating in a more forceful way, “Stop ignoring me and throw me my food now.” This is the
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Remember this: you or someone who owned the horse before you accidentally taught him this false aggressive behavior. It is up to you to train it back out of him.
• As you back up, you will notice the ears come forward. When they do, approach again. • If the ears go back again as you get close, simply back up until the ears are forward. Verbally praise your horse, and begin to approach again. • If the ears stay forward, give the horse his food. If the ears go back, simply set the food down and leave the barn for 15 minutes. Then come back and try the same technique. Approach and retreat until the ears are forward. Most of the time it will only take a few attempts to change the behavior. When done right, I have never seen it take more than three feedings to make a major change. However, do be aware that when the time comes to drop the food to the horse, he will almost always pin his ears just as you let it fall. Don’t worry about it. Don’t go in and retrieve it, don’t get mad. It will go away quickly enough. Remember this: you or someone who owned the horse before you accidentally taught him this false aggressive behavior. It is up to you to train it back out of him.
same request a parent often has to make to a child to get him to clean his room, or take out the garbage.
You do not need to punish this horse. In fact, punishment will make matters worse. You deal with him by simply changing your behavior so your horse changes his. Here’s how:
Photo courtesy of Scot hansen
• At feeding time, approach the stall with the horse’s food. If he pins his ears, start backing up.
here the horse has quit eating and lifted its head, but has its ears pinned. It is not aggressive, just grumpy about being taken from its food.
True aggression This horse is different and can actually be dangerous when you try to change his behavior. He wants his food and will go through you to get it. He will pin his ears and jam his head in the bucket (which is not the same as a horse who tries to poke his head into the bucket, a habit that is easily discouraged). A true aggressive horse will also try to keep you away from his food if you attempt to take it back from him. In some cases these horses bite, stomp their feet, and will often start to turn their butt towards you.
For a horse this aggressive I will take his feed outside and set it down. I will also take a lead rope or lariat with me. I then stand over the food or very close to it. If the horse approaches with pinned ears and a sour expression I will ask him to stay back by swinging the rope or lariat in an easy arc. This swinging is just to let him know I have the rope. If he continues with the sour expression, I swing it harder and go after him just enough to drive him away. Soon he will come back. If he has his ears forward and relaxed, he gets to continue in, but he has them pinned and is coming quickly then I go after him again. However, the second time I will be slightly more aggressive about it. I will swing the rope faster and harder, and even advance on the horse. I rarely (if
Photo courtesy of Scot hansen
As the halter is put on, the ears have come back forward. this is not a true aggressive horse.
ever) make contact or strike the horse – there is seldom any need to do so even with aggressive horses. When he has retreated, I will then go back to stand guard over the food. I will continue this until the horse approaches with ears forward. Once this happens, I gesture for the horse to stop a few feet away from the food. If he does, while staying relaxed, I will slowly move away from the food and let him have it. If he starts to pin his ears again as I move away, I softly and easily raise my lead rope as if I am going to swing it (but do not). If the ears come forward we are done. He gets the idea. Please notice that I said to raise the lead rope softly and easily. This is because the horse needs to feel you are warning and not attacking him. That is what horses do to other horses – first they warn, then they escalate. This scenario is different than when the horse was coming at you quickly and aggressively, and that is why you must not attack him or send him harshly away. He already came in respectfully, and stopped. Then, much like a child as you leave the room after a scolding, he wants to get the last word in, so he pins his ears. All you need to do is give him is a gentle reminder, hence raising the rope. If you whirl around and attack him or get mad, he will feel he has to defend himself and may become even more aggressive. With a little bit of patience, persistence and lots of consistency, grumpy faces at feeding time can become a thing of the past, and the whole barn will be much more peaceful for it. SCOT HANSEN
IS A NATURAL HORSEMAN AND RETIRED MOUNTED POLICE OFFICER, AND HAS
TRAINED BOTH RIDERS AND HORSES TO WORK THE STREETS.
HIS AWARD-WINNING SELF DEFENSE TRAIL RIDERS CLINICS AND TRAINING VIDEO HAVE BEEN WIDELY ACCEPTED AS THE PRINCIPAL RESOURCE FOR SAFE TRAIL RIDING AND SELF PROTECTION. HE HAS EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF HOW HORSES THINK AND LEARN AND OFFERS PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND CLINICS IN THINKING HORSEMANSHIP AND OTHER TOPICS FOR BOTH ADULT RIDERS AND YOUTHS. FIND OUT MORE AT HORSETHINK.COM. TO ASK ABOUT HOSTING A CLINIC IN YOUR AREA, CALL 425-830-6260 OR E-MAIL SANDY@HORSETHINK.COM FOR
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Veterinary cold laser therapy can be a helpful aid for treating equine tendon/ ligament injuries, as well as for rehabilitation and performance enhancement.
It sounds futuristic, but cold laser therapy has been used successfully with human athletes for many years. It has become a mainstay in professional sports where fast healing is not just desirable but necessary for athletes to remain competitive. Dr. Jeff Spencer, a chiropractor for the Tour De France bicycling team, performs laser treatments on cyclists before and after every ride. He is adamant that laser is an integral part of his treatment protocol and wonâ€™t leave home without it. Tiger Woods, The New England Patriots, U2, Sheryl Crow, and many other professionals have used cold laser therapy to enhance their performance, and rehabilitate injuries. I have integrated my studies with Drs. Jeff Spencer, Dan Murphy and William Inman to advance my Frequency Specific
Low Level Laser Light knowledge and capabilities. The uses of this technology are fascinating and expanding exponentially. Light therapy is just starting to catch on in the US and will become mainstay in most veterinary, chiropractic and physical rehabilitation practices.
What is VLLLT? Veterinary Low Level Laser Therapy, or VLLLT, has more recently entered the veterinary world as a viable therapy. VLLLT has been shown to help treat arthritis pain, accelerate wound healing, and reduce acute tissue inflammation. Its prospects for equestrian sports and rehabilitation are remarkable. This modality, in conjunction with traditional veterinary care, is an integral part of treating and rehabilitating the equine athlete. By using high technology
instrumentation for diagnostics and treatment, horses are returning to function in a stronger state, with less chance of re-injury.
Light therapy is just starting to catch on in the US and will become a mainstay in most veterinary, chiropractic, and physical rehabilitation practices. VLLLT involves the use of cold laser therapy at a specific frequency to stimulate healing. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Rays (LASER), involves a highly concentrated coherent light that can be altered to attain many different outcomes. It is a natural and biological therapy that uses light to restore health to ailing cells. Cold laser therapy uses light at a concise wavelength directed at muscles, tissues, organs, connective tissue, tendons, the blood, and the living matrix of the body to stimulate healing at the cellular tissue level. VLLLT uses a wavelength different from other lasers, and is used for hair removal, surgical and other therapeutic instruments, making it a very specialized modality.
How does it work? The technology of laser therapy integrates biology and quantum physics to accelerate healing in the mitochondria of the cell. Cold laser is a bio-modulator that will up-regulate or down-regulate the targeted area of the body through the use of coherent light at precise wavelengths. The laser light communicates to the cells, stimulating them to heal themselves, grow, change and survive. Cold laser beams are directed at the local area of injury, whether tendon, ligament, joint, spine, brain, or acupuncture meridian,
Cold laser helps stimulate healing at the cellular level. equine wellness
The cold laser is a bio-modulator that will up-regulate or down-regulate the targeted area of the body through the use of coherent light at precise wavelengths.
• The degree of fiber compromise (mild, moderate or severe) • The percentage of fiber compromise (zero to 100%) • The location of fiber compromise The combination of these findings gives insight into the type of lesion(s) the horse has, the prognosis for future performance, the most appropriate therapeutic strategy, the approximate time required for the injury to heal adequately, and the time required for the horse to resume a normal work routine once the lesion(s) has healed.
the beams are red in color, and directed at the local area of injury.
for three to 20 minutes. The number of sessions varies, depending on the severity and chronic nature of the disease process. Other variables that determine the number of sessions include the age and general health of the horse as well as his performance goals and nutrition levels. The beams are red in color, with some lasers having multiple beams programmed at specific frequencies to target the area of involvement – affected nerve root, synovial cells, fibroblasts, lymph node drainage. The treatment allows for focus on the injury while also stimulating the brain. This leads not only to healing, but also neurological re-organization and reorientation at the brain level. Animals treated with VLLLT usually have no side effects. Most horses tend to react to VLLLT just as they do to massage therapy or acupuncture. After the light penetrates the skin, they may get relaxed, drop their heads or salivate. Other physiologic effects include hiccups, relaxing sphincters, or dropping penises. Many horses show immediate gratification due to pain relief, and will stretch, yawn and shake their heads to show they are pleased.
VLLLT and tendon/ligament injuries Tendon and ligament injuries should be evaluated with ultrasound or MRI. Three things are evaluated when interpreting these injuries:
It takes ten to 12 months for tendon/ligament injuries to heal via the formation of scar tissue. This scar tissue is a reorganization of fibers and one of the keys to success for future performance. VLLLT excels at tissue healing by stimulating fibroblast and reorganizing the tissue. The first 90 days of healing is when the damaged fibers are replaced with scar tissue. Enhanced scar tissue strength and reorganization of tendon fibrils is one of the great features of VLLLT. Maximum strength of tendon/ligament scar tissue is attained in seven to nine months. Diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of tendon and/or ligament injuries are all vital components for a return to work. Other treatment modalities that can be used in conjunction with VLLLT are Extracorporeal High-Energy Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), and Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP). Your veterinarian can prescribe a treatment protocol and rehabilitation recommendation that will work best for you and your horse.
JILL TODD, DVM,
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON, AND ALSO PRACTICES AT BELLEVUE ANIMAL HOSPITAL FOR DOGS AND CATS. SHE IS A RIDER, AND COMPETING IN HUNTER/ JUMPER AND EQUITATION OVER FENCES IS ONE OF HER PASSIONS. DR. TODD WAS THE FACULTY ADVISOR FOR THE TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY RODEO TEAM. SHE IS ALSO A CERTIFIED VETERINARY ACUPUNCTURIST (CVA), AND A CERTIFIED VETERINARY CHIROPRACTITIONER (CVCP). HER MAIN TOOLS ARE THE ERCHONIA PL5 COLD LASER, VOM ACTIVATOR, AND ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES. DR. TODD FEELS THAT THE USE OF THESE TOOLS AND OTHER ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE TECHNIQUES, ALONG WITH HER HORSEMANSHIP KNOWLEDGE, MAKES HER UNIQUE IN THE VETERINARY MEDICAL FIELD. JILLTODDDVM@GMAIL.COM, ERCHONIA.COM OR JILLTODDDVM.COM. COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE PRACTICE BASED OUT OF
Selling Points BY KELLY HOWLING
In a SATURATED market, it’s getting more and more CHALLENGING to ﬁnd new homes for horses. Learn how to give your horse a leg up to his FUTURE.
ur industry is facing challenging times, and has been for some years now. With minimal relief in sight, many people are selling their horses. The market is saturated, and we frequently hear people asking why their particular horses aren’t selling. Sales tactics that used to work for people just aren’t cutting it anymore. If you want to give your horse the opportunity to find a great next chapter in his life, you need to show him off to the best of your ability.
minimum, a nice conformation shot from each side, and maybe a nice headshot. If the horse is being ridden, a couple of images of him at work are a nice complement.
SMILE FOR THE CAMERA
Remember, these photos are a potential buyer’s first impression of your horse. Think of it a bit like a job interview. Take your horse out of the field, bathe him, tidy him up, and put on a clean, well-fitting halter. If you are going to be in the photo, wear appropriate attire (no flip-flops or bathing suits!). Stand your horse up on level ground with a decent background – if nothing else, someplace where there is minimal clutter/distractions.
In this digital age, there is really no excuse for not having photos of your horse. Digital cameras are inexpensive, or you can easily get a friend to help you out. Plenty of horse sales sites will allow you to post at least one photo for free, or you can use any number of free photo hosting websites. Many people will not even look at a horse’s ad if there are no photos. Photos should include, at
Many people will not even look at a horse’s ad if there are no photos.
THAT’S A WRAP Video can be a very nice thing to offer potential buyers, particularly if they may be coming from a distance to see the horse. Again, be aware that how you present your horse and the clips you choose can greatly affect peoples’ perception. You can take a video of the horse and cut it down to a two-minute
segment that makes the horse look fabulous. But know that viewers are just as aware of what you don’t show as what you do. If you only show the left lead canter, they will assume there is a problem with the right. Cut out every transition, and they’ll wonder if the horse is a bit naughty off the leg.
Know that viewers are just as aware of what you don’t show as what you do. CREATING AN AD Many people find creating an ad for their horses challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Horse ads don’t need to be lengthy – in fact you’ll often find that the less information people have to sort through, the better. Be careful about creating an ad that is overly emotional – it is great for people to know your horse is well-loved, but no one wants to feel they are ripping apart your beloved partnership if they put in an offer. Ads should include: ✓ Breed and ancestry ✓ Age ✓ Height
✓ Sex ✓ Color ✓ Level of
training, show experience, or area in which the horse shows talent ✓ A few details on temperament and personality – e.g. “Requires an experienced, patient rider” ✓ Health and/or soundness information ✓ Price is a bit of a controversy; some people include the price in the ad, others don’t. But not including a price can be offputting for some purchasers – there’s a saying that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it, which in fact isn’t always the case.
THE “INTERVIEW” PROCESS Now it’s time for the actual “job interview”. Check with the buyer ahead of time to see what she would like to watch the horse doing. Some people like to see everything, from the horse being caught up in the field onwards, whereas others prefer arriving to a horse tacked up and ready. Regardless, the horse should be clean and tidy, the equipment should be clean and well-fitting, and you should ensure there is an appropriate place to “show off” the horse. If the horse is rideable, make sure he has been in work prior to the buyer’s visit. I don’t know how many times I have gone to see horses and been told, “He hasn’t been worked in about a month, but we’ll just put him on the lunge for a bit and you’ll be fine.” These are also typically horses the owners
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Very few people can get on a horse for the ﬁrst time and have him go as well as he possibly can, so it is nice for buyers to witness his talents ﬁrsthand with a rider known to the horse. don’t want to ride first. This tactic can either work to your favor or not – if the horse is good the buyer may be impressed, but if not she may feel she wasted a visit. Along these lines, it will also work in your favor to have someone who can get on the horse in front of the buyer to show him off to the best of his ability. Very few people can get on a horse for the first time and have him go as well as he possibly can, so it is nice for buyers to witness his talents firsthand with a rider known to the horse.
By presenting your horse in the best light possible, you will attract the type of buyer and home you want for him, and hopefully make a sale. Your horse’s future is in your hands to a certain degree, and putting in a little extra effort and polish can go a long way!
WHAT THEY SAY
WHAT THEY MEAN
Barrel racing prospect
Just oﬀ the track
Lame all around, deaf and blind
Needs intermediate rider
Needs experienced rider
Can be registered
I think I know what stud got to the mare
Insurance company threatened to drop me
Family won’t come back until he’s gone
Clips, hauls, loads
Clippity-clop is the sound his hooves make as he hauls butt across the parking lot when you try to load him
Should mature 15.2hh
Currently 14 hands, dam is 14.2, sire is 14.3, every horse in pedigree back 18 generations is under 14 hands, but this horse will defy his DNA and grow
Hasn’t bitten, kicked or stepped on anyone for a week
Ready to start your way
Lunges, but we don’t have enough health insurance to even think about sitting on him
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Winter WARM UP Is your horse feeling the cold? Here are the top four warming herbs you can offer him this winter. BY JESSICA LYNN
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uring the cooler months of fall, we begin preparations to ensure our horses will be properly cared for during the winter. This includes getting blankets repaired and scotch guarded, and taking a look at diet changes to meet the caloric needs of the season. I also take a look at my herb supplies to make sure I have everything on hand I’ll need to support my horses through the winter.
for your horse
for your body ®
Cold weather support I have found that senior horses are usually the ones most adversely affected by the arrival of colder weather, along with some younger horses who have not yet gone through their first winter. Both have a harder time regulating their body heat – the seniors because of age and health-related issues (i.e. thyroid or metabolic), and the youngsters because they have not yet learned to regulate their bodies. For these horses, it is particularly important to put some diet changes in place, and this includes incorporating some nice warming herbs.
Hot and cold The Chinese categorized herbs by their “temperatures”, meaning they divided them into cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot. Cold and cool herbs reduce fevers, neutral herbs balance the effects of other herbs, and warm herbs alleviate chills and warm the meridians and extremities while promoting circulation. Hot herbs can dispel the cold, but the herb most often associated with this action is cayenne; however, it is not advisable to give cayenne to horses on a daily basis. Some will not even entertain eating it.
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THE CHINESE CATEGORIZED HERBS BY THEIR “TEMPERATURES”, MEANING THEY DIVIDED THEM INTO COLD, COOL, NEUTRAL, WARM AND HOT. There are a number of herbs you can make into teas, which you can then pour over buckets of feed when you get into the very cold nights, snow and storms. These are known as warming herbs, and they can help warm a horse from the inside out on cold nights.
TOP FOUR WARMING HERBS
Cinnamon – This spice is a warming agent and also regarded as an antiseptic and digestive tonic. Recent studies have shown that for IR/metabolic horses, cinnamon may help regulate insulin and lower blood sugar. Cinnamon has the ability to increase peripheral blood flow and is mostly available in the form of a stick or ground powder. The Chinese have long used cinnamon as a natural remedy – it helps equine wellness
THE CHINESE HAVE LONG USED CINNAMON AS A NATURAL REMEDY – IT HELPS DRY DAMPNESS IN THE BODY AND HAS THE ABILITY TO WARM PEOPLE AND HORSES WHO ARE ALWAYS COLD AND SUFFERING FROM POOR CIRCULATION.
dry dampness in the body and has the ability to warm people and horses who are always cold and suffering from poor circulation. But for horses, especially metabolically challenged ones, less is more. I would not give more than one teaspoon per day if you are feeding the powder form.
Ginger – This warming herb has long been used for the circulatory and digestive systems. It can improve circulation to all parts of the body, including the extremities, and is also known for its lymph-cleansing properties. The entire root can be used medicinally, and it can be made into a tea, which is my favorite way of using it for my own horses. By grating it coarsely or slicing it thinly, I add a handful to a one-quart mason jar, then steep it in boiling water. When cooled to just warm, I add the entire contents to a bucket of feed. Ginger can also be combined with other warming herbs to make a very fragrant and inviting addition to winter bucket feeds.
Kelp – This is another great herb for the winter months because it is also warming in nature. It contains micronutrients, as well as iodine, that support the thyroid (known to be the master “heater” of the body). The thyroid in horses and humans is responsible for regulating metabolism and body temperature. You only need to feed a small amount – maybe up to a tablespoon per day added to feed. This is not an herb you should free feed.
Licorice root – Although not technically a warming herb, I like to use licorice root in the winter months because it aids in the production of stomach mucus. This lowers the high acid levels that can lead to stomach disorders including ulcers, and horses love the flavor – it’s great for those that are stalled more during the colder months.
Hint The flavor associated with winter is salty, and some horses will need to be encouraged to drink more water during this season. Salt is not an herb, but it is an important feed additive during cold months. I prefer the pink Himalayan salt because it contains more minerals.
Tea time! My favorite thing to do when it’s very cold is brew up a batch of warming herb tea for my horses (see sidebar). You can get the ingredients for the tea and keep them on hand for the coldest of nights. Your horse will thank you for it!
Warming herbal horse tea • 1 qt (4 cups) water • 1 finger of fresh ginger sliced thinly or grated thickly (warming and immune enhancer) • 1 small piece of licorice root, 1”-2” inches sliced (also helps fight depression in stalled horses) • 1 tablespoon dried lemon balm herb, cut and sifted type (relaxing aid) • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes (digestive aid) • 1-2 cinnamon sticks (warming and digestive aid) • 1 tablespoon dried orange peel and rind (to add some sweetness to the blend and aroma) In a pot, bring the water to a boil, add the herbs, turn oﬀ the heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool to just warm, strain the herbs, and use the remaining liquid to pour over feed in cold weather. You can add a teaspoon of salt to the warm liquid so you encourage your horse to drink more! Serves one horse.
JESSICA LYNN IS A WRITER AND THE OWNER OF EARTH SONG RANCH, A LICENSED SUPPLEMENT MANUFACTURER, SPECIALIZING IN PRE/PROBIOTIC BLENDS, HERBAL BLENDS AND BLENDS FOR HORSES, DOGS AND CATS, BASED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. JESSICA HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE, HOMEOPATHY AND NUTRITION FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS. SHE PERSONALLY RESEARCHES AND FORMULATES ALL OF THE EARTH SONG RANCH NUTRITIONAL PRODUCTS INCLUDING HER HIGH POTENCY PROBIOTIC AND DIGESTIVE ENZYMES, AND SELLS OTHER PRODUCTS THAT SHE USES AND BELIEVES IN ON HER WEBSITE EARTHSONGRANCH.COM. CONTACT JESSICA VIA E-MAIL AT JESSICA@EARTHSONGRANCH.COM OR 951-514-9700 FRIEND EARTH SONG RANCH ON FB AT HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/#!/EARTHSONGRANCH
If you’ve ever dealt with a horse that has “TIED UP”, you know this term is fairly BROAD and GENERIC. Take a look at the variety of muscle DISORDERS that fall into this category.
BY KELLI TAYLOR, DVM, CVA, CAC
t’s Wednesday night and you’d planned to ride right after work. It is a gorgeous hot and humid summer day, but you were held up at the office so you didn’t make it out to the barn on time. With your limited time frame shortened even more, you decide to forgo a warm-up and get right down to business. But 15 minutes into the ride, your horse starts to lose impulsion and develops a stiff, stilted gait. Thinking he is just a little sore from having skipped the warm-up, you ask him to continue. He starts to sweat heavily, his respiration increases and when you stop exercising he seems locked in place and refuses to move forward at all. What is happening? He is “tying up”.
What exactly is tying up? This is a generic term used to describe a variety of muscle disorders in the horse that cause cramping and muscle cell destruction during aerobic exercise. Tying up has had many names over the years, including set fast, azoturia, and Monday Morning Sickness. The medical term used to describe this disorder is exertional
rhabdomyolysis – exertional meaning it occurs during exercise, and rhabdomyolysis meaning rapid breakdown (lysis) of muscle cells. Some horses may have one or two tying up episodes in their lifetimes (sporadic form), while for others it can become a recurrent, frustrating problem (chronic form).
Sporadic form The most common cause of sporadic tying up is overexertion (exercising beyond the horse’s current level of conditioning). It has been reported in a wide variety of breeds and occurs in around 3% of all exercising horses. However, it does seem to occur more often in nervous, high-strung fillies. Other risk factors include: • advancing training too quickly • continuing to feed full rations to horses that are being ridden sporadically • high grain diets • exercising in hot, humid conditions/electrolyte imbalances • pre-existing lameness
• stall rest more than 12 hours per day • a recent history of a viral respiratory infection (EHV-1 or influenza) Contrary to popular belief, tying up is not caused by lactic acid buildup within the muscles, but more likely arises from muscle fatigue and/or electrolyte imbalances.
Chronic form Most horses with the chronic form of tying up have characteristic features in their muscle cells. The human muscle biopsy technique that was adapted to horses in the 1960s allowed scientists to begin studying the microscopic structure of muscle in horses. This research has revealed that there are many different muscle disorders in the horse that can lead to the same painful muscle contractures of the back and hindquarters we collectively call “tying up”. Today we recognize four distinct causes, but there are probably more that have yet to be discovered:
Polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) PSSM is the most common cause of tying up in Quarter Horses and draft breeds. It is characterized by the excessive accumulation of unusable carbohydrate
(glycogen and polysaccharide) in skeletal muscle. There are at least two forms of PSSM in horses based on current genetic research.
Some horses may have one or two tying up episodes in their lifetimes (sporadic form), while for others it can become a recurrent, frustrating problem (chronic form). Type 1 PSSM is due to an inherited mutation in the glycogen synthase gene (GYS1). This mutation causes the enzyme that builds up glycogen stores in the muscle cell to be constantly in the “on” position. All the muscle cell’s energy is placed into storage form, resulting in a deficiency of energy during muscle cell contraction when it is needed, leading to cramping. A test now available through the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory can tell you if your horse carries the mutated gene. Horses with type 2 PSSM have the same problem with carbohydrate buildup in the muscle, but do not carry the GYS1 mutation. The specific cause for the type 2 form is not yet
The signs of are always associated with exercise: • Firm and painful muscles over the loin and croup
Malignant hyperthermia Malignant hyperthermia is also due to genetic mutation in skeletal muscle. It is present in 1% or fewer of Quarter Horses, but can occur simultaneously with the PSSM type 1 mutation. Therefore, it is recommended that Quarter Horses with episodes of tying up that are hard to control through diet and exercise changes be tested for this mutation as well.
• Excessive sweating
What should you do during a tying up episode?
• Quick, shallow breathing
Stop exercising immediately and put the horse in a box stall to limit movement. Small quantities of water may be offered on a frequent basis while waiting for the veterinarian to arrive. He or she will take a blood sample to confirm the diagnosis of exertional rhabdomyolysis by measuring the levels of muscle specific enzymes that may have leaked into the bloodstream through damaged muscle cell membranes. Monitoring these enzymes through the recovery process will tell your veterinarian when your horse is able to return to work.
• Increased heart rate • Muscle tremors/fasciculations • Reluctance or refusal to move • R eddish-brown colored urine (myoglobinuria) • Lying down with the inability to rise
known, although it accounts for 80% of warmbloods and 25% of Quarter Horses with PSSM.
Recurrent Exertional Rhadomyolysis (RER) Recent research investigating RER suggests the problem lies within the process of muscle cell contraction and relaxation. It may be a problem with the way calcium is regulated inside the muscle cell, but the specific defect that causes it has yet to be identified. A muscle biopsy that shows centrally located nuclei in muscle cells without abnormal polysaccharide buildup is currently the only way to confirm a diagnosis of RER. This type is most commonly found in Thoroughbreds.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants will be administered to help with the pain. A sedative may be required to calm your horse if anxious. Fluid therapy is required in severe cases to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and to protect the kidneys as they filter myoglobin out of the bloodstream. Myoglobin, an important component of the muscle cell, stores oxygen for use by the muscle during heavy workloads. It is released into the bloodstream during the destruction of muscle cells and is what causes the urine to turn the color of port wine. In large amounts it can be damaging to the kidneys, so adding fluids to the bloodstream helps dilute the myoglobin into manageable amounts that the kidneys can process, while correcting any electrolyte imbalances that may be present.
Contrary to popular belief, tying up is not caused by lactic acid buildup within the muscles, but more likely arises from muscle fatigue and/or electrolyte imbalances.
As an alternative to the traditional medications used for pain and muscle relaxation, acupuncture, massage, therapeutic ultrasound and/or low level laser therapy have proven beneficial for some horses. All these modalities help relax the muscles and relieve pain and can also be used in conjunction with traditional pharmaceutical therapy.
equine equinewellness wellness
How can you prevent an episode of tying up? Make sure you always warm up your horse before asking for more strenuous work. A ten to 15 minute open walk is sufficient most of the time. And do not ask your horse to suddenly work beyond his current level of conditioning – in other words, don’t expect your pasture ornament to carry you on a ten-mile trek in the mountains this weekend. Increase training gradually, not abruptly. For horses that chronically tie up, daily exercise and turnout access are essential to successful management, as is a change in nutrition to a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars and starches) should make up less than 15% of the total daily calories, while 20% to 25% of total daily calories should be from fat. Sporadic episodes may be prevented by following the same diet and exercise recommendations. Recent research suggests that proper amounts of vitamin E and lipoic acid, both found in plant matter, may decrease the incidence of tying up. Daily supplementation with 1,000 IU of vitamin E may benefit horses that are prone to this problem. Selenium supplementation, especially in selenium deficient areas, has also been found helpful in preventing episodes in some horses. With proper diet management and daily exercise programs, many horses with this frustrating and painful disorder can return to work and live a normal, full life. DR. KELLI TAYLOR IS A 2008 SUMMA CUM LAUDE GRADUATE OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY’S COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE. SHE WAS BORN WITH A LOVE OF HORSES AND HAS STRIVEN TO BE NEAR THEM HER ENTIRE LIFE, EVEN WHEN IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HER TO HAVE HER OWN. JUST AFTER GRADUATION, SHE COMPLETED AN INTERNSHIP IN EQUINE MEDICINE AND SURGERY AT PILCHUCK VETERINARY HOSPITAL IN SNOHOMISH, WASHINGTON AND OBTAINED CERTIFICATION IN ANIMAL CHIROPRACTIC THROUGH THE IVCA. SHE HAS ALSO COMPLETED HER CERTIFICATION IN VETERINARY ACUPUNCTURE. DR. KELLI IS VERY EXCITED TO BE ANNOUNCING THE OPENING OF HER OWN MOBILE VETERINARY CHIROPRACTIC AND ACUPUNCTURE PRACTICE - MINDFUL HEALING VETERINARY CARE. WHEN NOT WORKING, YOU CAN FIND DR. TAYLOR TRAIL RIDING OR HIKING WITH HER HUSBAND IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. MINDFULHEALINGVET.COM, KELLITAYLORDVM@GMAIL.COM
BY DR. ELEANOR KELLON, VMD, UCKELE HEALTH & NUTRITION STAFF VETERINARY SPECIALIST
Proper hydration is key to your horse’s health and wellness veryone looks forward to the warm weather as the ideal time to ride their horse. Most understand the dangers of working the horse under conditions of high heat and humidity. However, your horse can be easily compromised under less than sweltering conditions if you do not know how to correctly protect them. Dehydration through sweat loss is the major danger. As little as a 3% of body weight sweat loss can cause an almost 10% reduction in the horse’s exercise tolerance. For a 500 kg (1100 lb) horse, that’s only 15 liters (3.96 gal) of sweat. Research has shown that a horse sweating heavily can lose as much as 16 liters (4.23 gal) of sweat in just one hour. Even at light levels of sweating – horses working in milder weather conditions or horses on turnout in hot weather that are obviously sweating – sweat losses are around 4 liters (1.06 gal) per hour. An adequate supply of palatable water is obviously a huge factor in avoiding dehydration. However, water is only part of the answer. For the horse’s body to hold onto the required amount of water, electrolyte levels must be correct.
Electrolyte balance Sodium, potassium and chloride are the major electrolytes. Bicarbonate is also important but the horse’s body can produce that from carbon dioxide and water as needed and bicarbonate is not lost in sweat. Sodium is the electrolyte that the horse’s body “reads” in the brain to determine whether to send out the impulse to drink
more water. If sodium concentration in the blood increases in relation to water, the brain will send out the message to drink. However, if sodium content in the body is not what it should be to begin with, blood concentration will not increase enough to trigger drinking even if there is a significant reduction in body water (dehydration). A 500 kg (1100 lb) horse loses 20 grams of sodium per day in bodily fluids, not including sweat. This equates to about 1 oz of plain table salt (sodium chloride). A horse standing around and not exercising but under conditions of high heat could need two to three times more than that just to meet basic losses without even being exercised. Make sure you provide baseline requirements first, then use an electrolyte supplement as needed to replace sweat loss. This will maximize performance and protect against problems caused by dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Choose an electrolyte sweat replacement supplement close to a ratio of potassium:sodium:chloride of 1:2:4. Horses getting generous forage can go with lower potassium.
ELEANOR KELLON, VMD, CURRENTLY SERVES AS THE STAFF VETERINARY SPECIALIST FOR UCKELE HEALTH & NUTRITION. AN ESTABLISHED AUTHORITY IN THE FIELD OF EQUINE NUTRITION FOR OVER 30 YEARS, DR. KELLON IS A VALUABLE RESOURCE IN THE FIELD OF APPLICATIONS AND NUTRACEUTICALS IN HORSES. SHE FORMERLY SERVED AS VETERINARY EDITOR FOR ‘HORSE JOURNAL’ AND JOHN LYONS ‘PERFECT HORSE’ AND IS OWNER OF EQUINE NUTRITIONAL SOLUTIONS, A THRIVING PRIVATE PRACTICE. FOUNDED IN 1962, UCKELE HEALTH & NUTRITION HAS BEEN A TRUSTED LEADER IN THE FORMULATION, DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURE OF QUALITY NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR FIFTY YEARS.
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color TO YOUR RIDE
Want to spice up your horse’s wardrobe? These clip-on mane and tail extensions will do just that – perfect for shows and parades, or just having fun! They are available in a variety of colors, and even fiber optic extensions that light up. If you’re just looking to fix that rubbed out tail you can also order natural colors to match your horse. For every pink extension sold a donation will be made to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. ColorfulManesAndTails.com
Horses are grazing animals and their stomachs are designed to handle a slow feed intake. The iFEED system was developed based on the simple concept of adapting how horses are being fed in the barn to how horses graze on the pastures. The automated feed dispenser system can be set to feed your horse anywhere from 1 to 720 times in a 24-hour period at 15 different portion settings. Feeding your horse many small meals each day can help eliminate common digestive diseases and reduce boredom and waste. CanarmEquineProducts.com/iFeedHome.html
If you’ve ever tried to pick out your horse’s feet in his stall or run-in shed you know it can be challenging to see everything you need to without good lighting. The new Illuminated Hoof Pick solves that problem with an LED light powered by replaceable batteries. Water resistant and sturdy, this pick helps make any hoof health issues easily visible. MJEquineToolsInc.com
BY WENDY PEARSON, PHD
NEW REGULATIONS ARE BEING ESTABLISHED FOR EQUINE JOINT SUPPLEMENT MANUFACTURERS. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU AND YOUR HORSE?
Changes are coming across North America as to how the joint supplements we give our horses are regulated. In Canada, the eagerly anticipated new regulatory environment for veterinary natural health products has finally opened for business. The new Low Risk Veterinary Natural Health Products Program (LRVHP), administered by North American Compendiums Inc., allows equine joint supplement manufacturers to (at last!) apply for blessing from Health Canada on their low risk joint care supplements. And in the US, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a new “list” of animal feed ingredients that manufacturers can notify as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). So what does this all mean for you, the horse owner?
THE LRVHP PROGRAM For Canadians it will mean that for the first time in history you can look for the LRVHP notification number on your product and enjoy a new level of confidence that the product is actually safe for your horse. While this might not seem
like huge news (fact is, many of us assumed the products were safe before this new program came into effect), the reality is that the vast majority of joint care products were on the shelves without anyone investigating whether or not they were safe. Scary stuff. The new LRVHP program is a great first step at protecting the safety of our horses when they are receiving joint care supplements.
DOES LRVHP CAPTURE ALL JOINT CARE SUPPLEMENTS? While the program is a great start at identifying low risk products, many joint care supplements are not captured by this program. Only products containing ingredients specified on the “admissible substances” list are eligible for notification through this program. That means many herbal products containing herbs that don’t have documented history of use in horses would not be eligible. There is opportunity for manufacturers to apply to have a new ingredient added to the admissible substances list, but unless they can provide historical evidence of use and safety in horses, its pretty unlikely the substance will be added.
For now, the program is voluntary – companies don’t have to go through the trouble and expense of notifying their products if they don’t want to. So you likely won’t see your favorite joint supplement disappear from the tack shop shelf anytime soon, even if it isn’t eligible for notification as a LRVHP. But the days of Health Canada turning a blind eye to nutraceutical supplements for horses – and other animals – are fast drawing to a close. And you can be sure the government is working hard to develop another level of notification so that all veterinary natural health products marketed as equine joint care supplements are safe for consumers.
REALITY IS THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF JOINT CARE PRODUCTS WERE ON THE SHELVES WITHOUT ANYONE INVESTIGATING WHETHER OR NOT THEY WERE SAFE.
DOES LRVHP PROTECT CONSUMERS FROM PRODUCTS THAT DON’T WORK? Safety is king when it comes to LRVHP, but the program doesn’t solve all our problems with the joint supplements industry. It still leaves the responsibility of providing efficacious products
in the hands of the manufacturer. And while many companies claim to manufacture products “based on science”, this science is almost always extracted from literature in the public domain and not from research on their individual blended product. This is a big problem. Let’s take the example of caffeine (found in many plant species) and ephedrine (a chemical found in the ephedra plant). Taken separately, these chemicals are quite well characterized (and reasonably safe) stimulants. But their interaction when taken together has been implicated in a number of deaths in athletes. That’s the danger of presenting “science” for caffeine and ephedra separately without considering their interaction. So there is still a need for companies to take a responsible approach to marketing. That is, they must support their products with research that is specific to their product, and specific to horses. The trouble is, research on horses is expensive and many companies manufacturing equine joint care products are small to mid-sized and won’t have much of a budget for research. The government does provide some financial help in this respect, but unfortunately many companies aren’t aware of these programs. And most don’t do this type of research. Continued on page 40.
Continued from page 39.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR? While the LRVHP is an exciting and desperately needed step towards a more ethical and safe industry for equine joint care supplements, there is still a lot needed from consumers to drive this industry into the next decade. Owing to the apparent lack of governmental surveillance on product efficacy, it remains up to the consumer to demand efficacy research from their favorite supplement manufacturers. Without demand from the consumer, there is little incentive for companies to invest in this kind of work. Secondly, the industry must always demand quality assurance standards that can protect them from contaminated or adulterated products. Such programs might be GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points). Companies that comply with these third party audit programs will be more than happy to let their customers know, and these programs ensure there is traceability and compliance with outside regulatory bodies.
OWING TO THE APPARENT LACK OF GOVERNMENTAL SURVEILLANCE ON PRODUCT EFFICACY , IT REMAINS UP TO THE CONSUMER TO DEMAND EFFICACY RESEARCH FROM THEIR FAVORITE SUPPLEMENT MANUFACTURERS .
NEW PROGRAMS IN THE U.S. Canadians are not the only horse owners eagerly anticipating new regulatory rules for equine joint care supplements. South of the border, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently announced a new “list” of animal feed ingredients that manufacturers can notify as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). This new GRAS list for animal feed ingredients will slowly replace the old AAFCO system, which has generally been considered cumbersome and difficult to navigate. This new system will make it easier for companies to notify FDA when they intend to use new ingredients in animal products, and will protect consumers against potentially unsafe or uncharacterized ingredients. Again, like the Canadian program, there is no mechanism within GRAS to demonstrate efficacy of the product or ingredient. This information should be demanded by the consumer and provided through scientific evidence generated by the manufacturer. Joint care supplements for horses have always been big business. And until the birth of the new LRVHP and GRAS programs for animal feeds, it has been risky business too. These new programs are an exciting indication of regulatory enlightenment in this dynamic area, but much remains to be fixed. And until such time, it is still up to you to seek out safe and efficacious products for your horses.
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/vet/issues-enjeux/notiﬁcation-declaration-faq-eng.php www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm214432.htm DR. WENDY PEARSON IS A POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW IN THE DEPT OF PLANT AGRICULTURE, UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH. HER RESEARCH IS FOCUSED ON MEDICINAL PLANTS FOR USE IN HORSES.
How one company is providing consistent nutritious forage for horses, both at home and on the road. ith a shortage of quality hay occurring in many areas across North America, it only makes sense that a number of horse people are looking for quality forage alternatives to ﬂesh out their feeding program. Canadian Bio-Cube Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Lakes Agra Corporation, is focused on satisfying that demand. Established in the early 90s, the company operates under the principles of the Integrated Sustainable Agriculture Concept™ employed by all Great Lakes Agra subsidiaries, which addresses the urgent need for sustainable development in agriculture through the advancement of new opportunities.
Promoting proper digestion Canadian Bio-Cube produces forage cubes composed of longer hay strands, which encourages thorough chewing. This results in good saliva production, which in turn aids in better stomach digestion. Being a much softer cube, they are easier to chew, reducing the risk of choke in some horses. They soak in minutes rather than hours if required, but horse owners ﬁnd the less processed natural composition tends to reduce the necessity of soaking.
Only the best Quite often it can be challenging to judge the quality of processed product such as hay cubes. Canadian Bio-Cube’s “Seed to Stable” quality control process includes rigorous protocols such as testing hay prior to purchase, moisture monitoring, metal detection and visual inspections throughout the entire process, and ﬁnal quality control tracking of every bag to the end user. The products are researched by independent research institutions including Kentucky Equine Research, the University of Guelph, and Texas A&M University. Research continues with ongoing trials on new products. The cubes are available in Canada and the northern U.S. through Canadian Bio-Cube, while customers in Texas and Florida can purchase from Texas Equine Feed Distributors and Florida Equine Feed Distributors respectively. For more information on these products, visit www.bio-cube.com
grieving? Is he
BY ellA Bittel, dVM
Horses experience bereavement in remarkably similar ways as we do. Here’s how to help your equine through the loss of an equine friend.
hilo, a 35-year-old Appaloosa mare, had never been too friendly with the two geldings she had lived with for many years. Yet when the day arrived for her planned euthanasia, Jimmy and Colonel became upset as the mare was led away from the pasture they had inhabited as a trio for so long. A gravesite had been prepared on the large property and after Shilo quietly took in the view of the sunshine-ﬁlled valley one more time, the euthanasia was performed out of sight of the geldings. All the while, both geldings were running up and down the fence line, calling out loudly. Jimmy slowed down after a little while, but Colonel continued, his distraught whinnying shattering the silence of the surrounding hills. Grief is as real and impactful in horses as in people, though it may not always be readily observable. It is well known that grief can severely affect a person’s health, so it is wise to prevent or limit the damage that can occur in both people and animals.
Allow the horse to see the body Shilo’s owner felt it was too difﬁcult for her to be present, so I offered to be with the horse during this last act of her life. After her slender body sank to the ground, I stood reverently in a solemn moment outside time. Yet Colonel’s non-ceasing screams soon pulled me back into the now. As I walked along the fence line toward the stable, Colonel escorted me anxiously on its other side. I spoke to him gently, saying out loud that I was sorry Shilo could not come back, but that if he wanted to he could see her one last time. With these words I offered him an open halter. When he dove his head into it, I took it as a clear yes. I could barely keep up with him as he headed to where he had seen Shilo disappear. As the still body came into sight, I let him step ahead by the full length of the lead. He wanted to know. He rushed up to Shilo’s body, lowered his head, and in astoundingly systematic order proceeded to thoroughly investigate it. He started at the tail and ended
at her head. As he turned toward me with mournful eyes to walk back down the hill, there was no more angst or rush. He understood.
Grief is as real and impactful in horses as in people, though it may not always be readily observable.
Energy work to alleviate and process grief Massaging Kidney 27
When we reached the stable, Colonel stood quietly. This was my opportunity to help him start processing the grief that had enveloped him, along with the sense of exhaustion that was setting in. Any type of great stress is capable of literally reversing the direction of energy flow through the meridians. Massaging the end points of the Kidney meridians for even two or three minutes has the power to restore the normal direction of flow (see below). To do this as a first step will increase the efficacy of any other therapeutic interventions that follow. Colonel signaled the correction had taken place by taking a deep breath. Continued on page 44.
Massage or rub with thumb & middle ďŹ nger adapted from Donna Eden by Ella Bittel
Sedating Triple Warmer In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is well understood how energy meridians and emotions are interrelated, giving us great pointers on how to efﬁciently help those who are grieving move through their emotions in a healthy way. The Triple Warmer meridian kicks in as a ﬁrst line of bodily defense when we face challenges in our lives. This can be useful in case of emergencies, supplying us short term with seemingly superhuman capacities. To be able to fully rest and rejuvenate it is important to feel safe, but this won’t be possible as long as the Triple Warmer is still on alert. Stroking with a ﬂat hand against the normal direction of ﬂow will sedate a meridian. While we used KI 27 to correct the direction of ﬂow in meridians, it then helped to sedate the Triple Warmer to induce relaxation. I did this on Colonel in preparation for the next step.
Strengthening Lung Grief primarily affects the Metal element. Strengthening its Yin, the Lung meridian can be done in various ways. A quick one is to run a ﬂat hand lightly and repeatedly along a meridian in its normal direction of ﬂow – meaning, in the case of grief, along the Lung meridian from the chest down the front leg. As I did this on Colonel I could sense some of the heaviness lifting.
Doing all these steps only took about ten minutes. Watching Colonel’s expression change from exhaustion to mere tiredness, and from depressed to tranquil, meant the world to me. Since he knew what had happened, I was certain he would not return to running along the fence to look for Shilo. He would have grieved over her absence one way or the other, and understanding that she wouldn’t return allowed him to stop waiting for her to come back. We do not need to protect ourselves or our horses from experiencing grief. We just want to do our best not to get stuck in the emotion but to face it and move through the process in a healthy way.
Any type of great stress is capable of literally reversing the direction of energy flow through the meridians.
The grieving, “neutral” and happy ones Some horses show easily observable expressions of grief, such as waiting for days by the gate through which their buddy disappeared, exhibiting reduced social interaction, or appearing depressed. Their eyes may be lackluster, their usual expressions of joy may fall by the wayside, and even food intake may be reduced. Sometimes they will just be a little quieter overall, which can easily go unnoticed. These signs of grieving are most likely to become apparent shortly after the loss. Though fairly immediate physical reactions are also possible, such as breaking out in hives, developing a cough or experiencing an aggravation of pre-existing health conditions, a decline in overall health is more likely to be a long term effect of grief. While such psychosomatic connections can never be proven, given the rich array of emotions evident in horses it only makes sense to support these animals when they’re experiencing grief.
TTouch TTouch can relieve not just physical pain, but also restore emotional balance and a sense of well being. For Colonel, I used “feathering” by lightly utilizing ﬂicking motions of my hand, starting at his upper neck and going all the way to his thighs. Then I did python lifts down each leg, gently tapping his hoofs to help him feel grounded again.
Just as in people, some horses may appear “normal” yet be silently grieving. Since all the interventions suggested in this article enhance well being, my approach is to treat both horses that are obviously grieving as well as those that appear unaffected. The fact that a surviving horse did not apparently care much for the deceased one during his life is no guarantee she won’t miss him, particularly if he was her only equine companion. Jimmy did not seem as affected as Colonel, for example, but clearly appreciated my offer of similar bodywork to him. At times, it happens that a horse is downright happy over the “loss”. If this is blatantly obvious by seeing the horse become more spry and interactive, or even go up in social rank within a herd, there is obviously no need for grief support.
Internal support Chinese herbs such as the Wei Qi Booster from Jing Tang Herbals, or another high quality immune enhancer, can help counteract the immune-depressive effects of grief. Young Living essential oil blends like Joy or Peace & Calming can soothe the spirit. Bach ﬂower essences such as Honeysuckle and Walnut can help address the wish that things were still as they were, and open up to big life changes. The homeopathic Ignatia is well known for its ability to overcome longing for someone who is gone, whether temporarily or permanently.
Doing fun things Intense or prolonged grieving can depress the spirit. During such times, it can be of great beneﬁt to invite the grieving horse to participate in activities he used to, or is likely
We do not need to protect ourselves or our horses from experiencing grief. We just want to do our best not to get stuck in the emotion.
to enjoy. Gentle bodywork or playful groundwork such as in TTEAM, extra grazing sessions and carrots, or going for walks in nature are all examples of activities that can help the horse feel relaxed, appreciated, and entertained, reawakening his curiosity and revitalizing him. If a horse remains by himself after the death of a buddy, look for ways to have him spend time with another horse that he resonates with. It is important to keep in mind that a horse can also grieve when one of his buddies is sold or otherwise moved, or if he is changing owners. Loneliness magnifies grief, and good company recovers the spirit, in humans and horses alike.
DR. ELLA BITTEL GRADUATED FROM VETERINARY SCHOOL IN HANNOVER, GERMANY, IN 1994. SPECIALIZING IN HOLISTIC MODALITIES, SHE STUDIED HOMEOPATHY IN HER HOME COUNTRY, CERTIFIED WITH THE AMERICAN VETERINARY CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION (AVCA) IN 1998 AND THE INTERNATIONAL VETERINARY ACUPUNCTURE SOCIETY (IVAS) IN 1999. NOW LIVING AND WORKING IN CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA, DR. BITTEL ALSO OFFERS CRANIOSACRAL WORK AND HERBAL APPROACHES. SHE PRESENTS ON INTEGRATIVE ANIMAL HOSPICE CARE AT VETERINARY CONFERENCES AND THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM FOR VETERINARY HOSPICE CARE, AND IS ON THE ADVISORY BOARD FOR THE NIKKI HOSPICE FOUNDATION FOR PETS (NHFP). BEING AWARE OF THE LACK OF EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN THE AREA OF HER GREATEST PASSION, DR. BITTEL HAS ALSO CREATED WEEKEND SEMINARS AND ONLINE CLASSES ON ANIMAL HOSPICE CARE (SPIRITSINTRANSITION.ORG).
Resource Guide • Associations • Barefoot Hoof Trimming • Chiropractors
• Communicators • Custom Cabinetry • Equine Naturopathy
ASSOCIATIONS Association for the Advancement of Natural Hoof Care Practices - AANHCP Lompoc, CA USA Phone: (805) 735-8480 Email: email@example.com Website: www.aanhcp.net American Hoof Association - AHA Ventura, CA USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.americanhoofassociation.org Canadian Barefoot Hoof Association - CBHA Carolyn Myre Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cdnbha.ca
• Integrated Therapy • Massage • Schools & Training
Nature’s Barefoot Hoofcare Guild Inc. NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 374-5456 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.natureshoofcare.com Pacific Hoof Care Practioners - PHCP Sossity Gargiulo Ventura, CA USA Email: email@example.com Website: www.pacifichoofcare.org
BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING Back to Basics Natural Hoof Care Services Carolyn Myre, CBHA, CP, FL Renfrew, ON Canada Phone: (613) 432-3620 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.b2bhoofcare.com
Servicing Greater Ottawa Area, Upper Ottawa Valley and some areas of Quebec.
Barefoot with Barnboots Johanna Neuteboom,
Natural Hoof Care Practitioner Port Sydney, ON Canada
Equine Science Academy - ESA Derry McCormick Catawissa, MO USA Phone: (636) 274-3401 Email: email@example.com Website: www.equinesciencesacademy.com Equinextion - EQ Lisa Huhn Redcliff, AB Canada Phone: (403) 527-9511 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.equinextion.com Liberated Horsemanship - CHCP Warrenton, MO USA Phone: (314) 740-5847 Email: BruceNock@mac.com Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com
Phone: (705) 385-9086 Email: email@example.com Website: www.barnboots.ca Barefoot Horse Canada.com Anne Riddell, Certified Natural Hoofcare Practitioner Barrie, ON Canada Phone: (705) 427-1682 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.barefoothorsecanada.com Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com Website: www.soinsdessabots-hoofcare.com
• Thermography • Yoga
Catherine Larose CBHA CP, Rigaud, QC Canada Phone: (514) 772-6275 Email: email@example.com Website: www.servicesequus.com
Servicing ST. Lazare, Hudson, Rigaud,Greater Montreal and area
Certified Hoof Care Professional Miriam Braun, CHCP Stoke, QC Canada Phone: (819) 543-0508 Email: Hoofhealth13@yahoo.com Website: www.soinsdessabots-hoofcare.com Cottonwood Stables Chantelle Barrett - Natural Farrier Elora, ON Canada Phone: (519) 803-8434 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Serving Ontario
Cynthia Niemela Minneapolis, MN USA Phone: (612) 481-3036 Website: www.liberatedhorsemanship.com Liberated Horsemanship Trimming Instructor
Dino Fretterd - CEMT Norco, CA USA Phone: (818) 254-5330 Email: email@example.com Website: www.dinosbest.info Dr. Bonnie Harder - AANHCP Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com Heart n’ Sole Hoof Care Jennifer Reinke - PHCP El Segundo, CA USA Phone: (310) 713-0296 Email: HeartnSoleHoofCare@gmail.com Website: www.heartnsolehoofcare.com Serving Los Angeles County
Hoof Authority Asa Stephens, AHA, PHCP Las Vegas, NV USA Phone: (702) 296-6925 Email: email@example.com Website: www.hoofauthority.com Serving Nevada
Hoofmaiden Performance Barefoot Hoof Care Elizabeth TeSelle, EQ Leipers Fork, TN USA Phone: (615) 300-6917 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.blue-heron-farm.com/hoofmaiden Servicing Middle Tennessee and online
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EW Wellness Resource Guide Continued The Hoof Whisperer - NBHG Woodville, ON Canada Phone: (705) 341-2758 Email: email@example.com Website: www.thehoofwhisperer.org
Serving York, Durham, Brock & Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
Jeannean Mercuri - PHCP Ridge, NY USA Phone: (631) 345-2644 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.gotreeless.com
Horses2go Queensville, ON Canada Phone: (905) 251-0221 Email: email@example.com Website: www.horses2go.com Serving Ontario - York Region
Professional Edge Equine Massage Southwold, ON Canada Phone: (519) 652-2789 Website: www.professionaledgeequinemassage.com
Serving Long Island, NY
Jeff Chears Natural Hoof Care Dade City, FL USA Toll Free: (813) 967-2640 Phone: (352) 583-2045 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.founderrehab.com
Serving Southwest Ontario
SCHOOLS AND TRAINNING
Servicing the central Florida area and willing to travel. NORMAL TEXT
Kel Manning, CP, Field Instructor, NTW Clinician Knoxville, TN USA Phone: (865) 579-4102 Email: email@example.com
w w w. w e l l r a n c h . c o m
Turn Sickness into Wellness with
Dr. Cassieâ€™s Wellness Consults
Kimberly Ann Jackson - LH & AANHCP Calabassas, CA USA Phone: (818) 522-0536 Email: KAJ@kimberlyannjackson.com Website: www.kimberlyannjackson.com
Certified Naturopath & Master Herbalist
Serving Agoura to San Diego
Natural Hoof Care Alicia Mosher - PHCP Cottonwood, CA USA Phone: (530) 921-3480 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hoofjunkie.com
INTEGRATED THERAPIES Thermal Equine New Paltz, NY USA Phone: (845) 222-4286 Email: email@example.com Website: www.thermalequine.com
Serving Shasta & Tehama County
Randy Hensley Natural Equine Hoof - AHA Orient, IA USA Phone: (641) 745-5576 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.naturalequinehoof.com
YOGA Yoga with Horses Pemberton, BC Canada Phone: (604) 902-4556 Email: email@example.com Website: www.yogawithhorses.com
Triangle P Hoofcare Chad Bembenek, AHA Founding Member Prairie Du Sac, WI US A Phone: (920) 210-8906 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.trianglephoofcare.com Equine Sciences Academy Instructor
CHIROPRACTORS Dr. Bonnie Harder - AANHCP Ogle, IL USA Phone: (815) 757-0425 Email: email@example.com Website: www.holisticbalanceanimalchiro.com
Equine Wellness Resource Guide Promote your holistic business inexpensively to a targeted market! 866-764-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org
View the Wellness Resource Guide online at: EquineWellnessMagazine.com
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Learn the warning signs
Horses do not conspire to deceive or mislead us. They don’t pretend something is wrong when it’s not. It is our responsibility to understand what they are saying, which can be difﬁcult because some people are so used to seeing a stilted tender gait that it becomes their “normal”. When you see a horse running with complete freedom of movement, it looks quite different compared to many of the horses we are accustomed to seeing under saddle. The astute horseperson is able to tell the difference – she has developed acumen.
HOT Spots BY cARole HeRdeR
Does your horse seem sore? For ANSWERS, look FIRST to these two MAIN problem areas. HEN YOUR HORSE starts to look “off”, pinpointing the root cause can be challenging. Luckily for us, there are not quite as many real problems as the touted solutions available for them. For the astute horse owner, proper horse care involves sifting out reality from dogma. Once you develop a discerning eye and address the two main “hot spots” in your horse’s body where issues arise – the back and the hooves – other areas of soreness become more easily identiﬁable.
For example, your horse will tell you long before the obvious development of discoloration and white hairs on his back that his saddle is not ﬁtting well. His movement will be stiff and unnatural. When you approach with a saddle, he will pin his ears back. He becomes unable to pick up the proper lead. He swishes his tail when he canters. By the time his hairs have turned white around the withers and he no longer has pigment in his follicles, circulation to that area has been inhibited for many months. If you could read the earlier telltale signs, you would be able to remedy the cause of the problem well before symptoms arise.
Watch his back
Here are some issues concerning your horse’s back and the things you should be paying attention to:
1 • • • •
Uneven saddle construction. Like a pair of human shoes, even good saddles may have slightly uneven construction. Trees are often asymmetrical. Stirrup bars may be placed unevenly. Panels may be stuffed unevenly, displacing the gullet or creating lumps or bumps. Wool ﬂocking changes shape over time.
Turn your saddle upside down and look down the center. You will often see a difference from one side to another.
Asymmetry of the horse’s body. Horses (like humans!) may develop differently on the left and right sides of their bodies.
Changes in the horse’s musculature. Bodies change and develop. A horse’s musculature will change throughout the riding day (as the horse tires) and over the season (as the horse ages, develops, tones or loses muscle mass).
He has the mind
Poor hooves prevent him from reaching his full potential. Help him prove his ability with Farrier’s Formula®. Within weeks of feeding Farrier’s Formula® he will have an emerging new band of hoof growth and a glossy, more deeply colored coat. Internal benefits are harder to see, but just as dramatic.
Our horses do not conspire to deceive or mislead us. They don’t pretend something is wrong when it’s not.
Saddles as static objects
A saddle is a static object, but your horse is a living dynamic creature. Even slight changes in your horse’s weight throughout the year have a signiﬁcant impact on the saddle’s ﬁt. And naturally, saddle ﬁt in turn signiﬁcantly impacts your horse’s experience. That’s just common sense, of course. But many riders forget that a horse normally undergoes alterations in weight and posture throughout the seasons, and his life. Yet we continue to put the same old saddles on their backs, year in and year out. That’s what saddle pads are for, right? In some cases, yes. But most saddle pads underperform when it comes to a customized and continually changing ﬁt. You need to ﬁnd the saddle pad that addresses all the changes that come with new seasons, age, injuries and habits. And at various points, you should have a qualiﬁed saddle ﬁtter look at your saddle and evaluate whether changes are needed.
If only he had
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It is our responsibility to listen to our horses and try to understand what they are saying. equine wellness
Horses were ﬁrst shod with metal shoes about 1,500 years ago, long before people understood the physiology of the hoof. The shoes were intended to elevate the hoof out of the manure and urine-saturated ground where horses were tied. The premise was that the elevation would stop the hoof from rotting. The captive horse’s hoof was not only weakened by a fetid environment, but also by lack of movement, a radical change for animals meant to be constantly on the go. Limited motion meant limited blood circulation, which translated to a signiﬁcant lack of nutrient supply. Not surprisingly, the rot worked its way between the metal plate and the hoof. Cutting out the middle of the plate was thought to allow the hoof to retain some breathability and air circulation, hence the origins of the current horseshoe shape. Not much has changed since.
Even slight changes throughout the year in your horse’s weight have a signiﬁcant impact on the saddle’s ﬁt.
Five hearts and hoof mechanism
You may have heard it said that a horse has ﬁve hearts – four on the ground and one in the chest. This refers to the frog’s bloodpumping function, circulating blood down through the extremities and back again. The frog spreads the heel apart, drawing the sole ﬂat and inviting the bone structure of the leg to descend into the hoof. This is how shock is absorbed in the hoof capsule. If you can accept that circulation is imperative to the distribution of nutrients throughout the system, and that healthy blood ﬂow facilitates
healing, it follows that limiting blood ﬂow will lead to degeneration. If the frog cannot make ground contact and function as it should, then shock cannot be properly absorbed and blood cannot freely ﬂow. When metal is nailed in all around and the hoof is clamped in its smallest most contracted position, both proper blood circulation and shock absorption are dangerously impeded.
Hoof boots can be a positive alternative to metal shoes for many horses.
Take a metal shoe and bang it against a hard surface. You will feel the tremors vibrate up your arm. In fact, even the nails cause vibration, compromising hoof integrity and breaking down hoof structure. If you think metal shoes provide protection, please remember that the outside walls of the hoof are already hard and that it is actually the softer and more vulnerable middle sole area that needs the protection. We prefer to use hoof boots to provide overall hoof protection. So if your horse looks “ouchy” or isn’t performing to his usual standard, take a look at his back and feet ﬁrst. In many cases, this is where the problem lies. Once you’ve ruled out these two areas, you’ll have a better idea of where to look next for the source of the issue.
HAS A GENUINE PASSION FOR EDUCATING
HORSE OWNERS WORLDWIDE, ESPECIALLY ON ALL MATTERS RELATED TO NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP.
BELIEF THAT KEEPING HORSES NATURAL AND BAREFOOT
CAROLE DESIGNED AND SPORT BOOTS. IN 1993, SHE ALSO DESIGNED AND DEVELOPED TOTAL COMFORT SYSTEM SADDLE PADS TO ADDRESS THE OTHER “HOT SPOT” FOR HORSES RIDDEN UNDER SADDLE – SORE BACKS. PROVIDING COMFORT FOR HORSES IS CAROLE’S PASSION. IN 2010, SHE WON THE ROYAL BANK OF CANADA WESTERN DIVISION TRAIL BLAZER WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD. CAROLE PRESENTS TRAINING AT NUMEROUS HORSE EVENTS WORLDWIDE. CAVALLO-INC.COM ALLEVIATES DEVELOPED
ORGANIC–IS IT REALLY? Many of us in North America look for organic products for ourselves and our horses. But how do you know if what you are purchasing is truly organic? BY connie KeHleR
n the US, the National Organic Program regulates all organic crops, livestock, and agricultural products certiﬁed to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards. Veriﬁcation of the organic certiﬁcation is done by certiﬁcation agencies who inspect and verify that organic farmers, ranchers, distributors, processors, and traders are complying with the USDA organic regulations. USDA conducts audits and ensures that the more than 90 organic certiﬁcation agencies operating around the world are properly certifying organic products. In addition, USDA conducts investigations and enforcement activities to ensure all products labelled as organic meet the USDA organic regulations. In order to sell, label, or represent their products as organic, operations must follow all of the speciﬁcations set out by the USDA organic regulations.
WHAT ABOUT CANADA?
In order to be considered organic in Canada under the Organic Products Regulations, products must be certiﬁed organic according to the Canadian Organic Standards if they are traded across provincial or international borders or use the Canada Organic Logo. The certiﬁcation must be carried out by a certifying body (CB) that is accredited by a conformity veriﬁcation body (CVB) recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
ORGANIC PRODUCTION IS MORE THAN NOT USING CHEMICAL BASED PESTICIDES
Organic agriculture has a set of driving principles that were developed by industry, approved by consumers, veriﬁed annually by third party organizations, and backed by federal organic standards in Canada that are regulated. 1. Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health. 2. Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil. 3. Maintain biological diversity within the system. 4. Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise. 5. Provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock. 6. Prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production 7. Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems.
SO HOW DO I KNOW THE PRODUCTS I AM USING TRULY ARE ORGANIC?
Essentially the tools are in place to ensure that organic products claiming to be organic have a veriﬁcation system available to them. Look for the certiﬁer information on the label – that will ensure that veriﬁcation has taken place. If there is no label, ask for the organic certiﬁcate from the supplier. Using the links supplied in this article will help you validate that information. In the US, if you see the USDA organic seal, the product is certiﬁed organic and has 95 percent or more organic content. For multiingredient products such as bread or soup, if the label claims that it is made with speciﬁed organic ingredients, you can be conﬁdent that those speciﬁc ingredients have been certiﬁed organic.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Certification Bodies: inspection.gc.ca/food/organic-products/ certification-and-verification/certification-bodies/eng/1327860541 218/1327860730201 Conformity Verification Bodies: inspection.gc.ca/food/organicproducts/certification-and-verification/verification-bodies/ eng/1327859896490/1327860150110 Organic Product Regulations: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/ regulations/SOR-2009-176/ Canadian Organic Standards: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ ongc-cgsb/programme-program/normes-standards/internet/ index-eng.html USDA National Organic Program: ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop CONNIE KEHLER IS A LONGTIME CONSULTANT. SHE HAS LEAD THE CANADIAN ON FARM FOOD SAFETY WORKING GROUP, IS ON THE ORGANIC VALUE CHAIN ROUNDTABLE, IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN HERB, SPICE AND NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCT COALITION, HELPED TO START THE NATURAL ANIMAL PRODUCT WORKING GROUP AND RAN THE FIRST ORGANIC GREENHOUSE IN SASKATCHEWAN FOR 17 YEARS.
BY JocHen scHleese, ceRtiFied MAsteR sAddleR And equine eRGonoMist
DID YOU KNOW WOMEN HAVE DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS THAN MEN WHEN IT COMES TO SADDLE FIT? HERE ARE FIVE KEYS TO COMFORT FOR FEMALE RIDERS. We all know that women and men have different builds. But the challenges faced by many female riders (back, knee and hip pain, discomfort in the pelvic area, difficulty maintaining proper position and posture) aren’t frequently discussed in the equestrian world. The saddlery trade is historically rooted in European tradition, where primarily male saddlers built saddles for male riders. Today the majority of riders are women, who have a different pelvic structure than men. Let’s take a look at the five key principles of determining saddle fit for women.
KEYS TO COMFORT TWIST The width between a woman’s upper inner thighs affects the width of the twist she will need in her saddle. The twist is the part of the saddle against which the upper inner thighs sit. Because of a phenomenon called “q-ﬂexion” (whereby female thighs tend to angle outwards at the hip and back inwards at the knee), a woman will carry more weight on their upper inner thighs than a man. When a woman sits in a saddle that is too wide between her upper inner thighs, the leg is pushed forward, and the knee and toes are out at a 45° angle, making it difﬁcult to achieve the desired “shoulder-hips-heels” alignment. When a woman rides in a female saddle, the toes point forward and there is more upper leg on the barrel of the horse.
STIRRUP BAR The ratio of the length of the upper leg to the lower leg determines the position and/or length of the stirrup bar. Most women have a longer upper leg than lower leg. The
stirrup bar acts like the fulcrum and the stirrup leather is like a pendulum. With a regular stirrup bar positioned normally, the female’s leg will usually end up being too far forward (“get your leg back!” – does this sound familiar?) because the leg will fall according to its center of gravity. Therefore, women usually require extended stirrup bars (or extra-extended). Allowing the stirrup leathers to be positioned further back will ensure the leg hangs in the correct position.
PROPER FLAP POSITIONING Women’s hip bones are articulated differently at the joint from men’s. Female adult amateur riders who started riding later in life, or who don’t ride regularly, ﬁnd it especially challenging to have their legs hang straight down when riding, because the female articulation causes the legs to naturally angle out. Men’s legs hang straight naturally, but changing the angle of the ﬂap and the position of the thigh roll will address this for women in a female saddle. If the ﬂap is too straight, the woman’s knee comes too close to the front of the ﬂap, and in motion the leg will actually go over the ﬂap. Forcing this (“get your leg back!” – again!) can move the pelvis forward, resulting in back pain and discomfort.
SEAT WIDTH Most mistakes occur during measurement of the width of the twist and the width of the seat. The twist is that area of the saddle which is actually located between the thighs, whereas the width of the seat is determined by the space between the seam running along the edge of the seat. In the male pelvis, the seat bones are much closer together and the distance between the two seat bones is much smaller, therefore the male comfortably ﬁts into the padded part of most saddles.
The female pelvis has seat bones that are much further apart, so when she rides in a “male” saddle, she sits on the seat seaming, which is uncomfortable. Often the seat twist and width are mixed up, and she will end up buying a saddle with a wide twist rather than the wide seat she actually needs for her pelvic shape. As a result, her knees and hips will angle out instead of being able to hang straight down, causing discomfort. The distance between the seams on the seat should be wide enough to allow the female seat bones to sit on the padding – if it’s too narrow, she feels like she’s sitting on a ridge, or her seat bones will fall off the edge of the seat.
PUBIC SYMPHYSIS AND TILT The male pelvis has a higher pubic symphysis (ps) – when he sits in a balanced position with his spine perpendicular to the ground, his ps will be tipped upwards and not contact the saddle. When the female sits on the saddle with her spine perpendicular to the ground, her ps is much lower and closer to the front of the saddle and can contact and rub. This can result in recurring bladder infections, and even bleeding. Pelvic tilt is also affected by the saddle model and saddle balance. When a male rider sits on a male saddle, he can balance on his seat bones as on a bipod, whereas the female ﬁnds her balance on a male saddle in a tripod position – which means her ps will be in contact with the front of the saddle. Schleese’s patented AdapTree® has a cutout in the front of the saddle tree to form a channel for space between the ps and saddle. This channel is ﬁlled with foam and is very forgiving to the position of the rider in balance – for both men and women!
If you are struggling with your position or experiencing discomfort when riding, it may not be you – it may be your saddle! So often we hear people tell us we just need to “work on developing a better seat”, when in fact a simple equipment change can make all the difference in the world. Take these ﬁve keys to comfort into consideration, and evaluate the ﬁt of your saddle for yourself as well as your horse. JOCHEN SCHLEESE
IS A CERTIFIED MASTER SADDLER WHO PASSIER, AND CAME TO CANADA AS OFFICIAL SADDLER AT THE 1986 WORLD DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIPS. HE REGISTERED THE TRADE OF SADDLERY IN NORTH AMERICA IN 1990. JOCHEN’S LIFELONG STUDY OF EQUINE DEVELOPMENT, SADDLE DESIGN, THE BIO-MECHANICS OF HORSE AND RIDER IN MOTION, AND THE EFFECTS OF ILL-FITTING SADDLES, LED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SADDLEFIT 4 LIFE IN 2005 (SADDLEFIT4LIFE.COM), A GLOBAL NETWORK OF EQUINE PROFESSIONALS DEDICATED TO PROTECTING HORSE AND RIDER FROM LONG TERM DAMAGE. SCHLEESE.COM GRADUATED FROM
dVd ReVieWs TITLE: ivory
Pal “Born to Fly Higher”
With all of the negativity surrounding the gaited horse industry it can become easy for people to lose sight of how wonderful these breeds are. Popular Tennessee Walker stallion Ivory Pal of Ivory Knoll Ranch is looking to change those perceptions. After a successful performance career, Ivory Pal and his human partner Rafael Valle began travelling around to various events, showcasing that these horses can perform in their natural beauty – Ivory Pal does everything barefoot and bitless.
This new DVD aims to promote the message of a more natural approach to working with gaited horses, letting you follow this beautiful stallion through a typical day in his life, and some of his performances.
PRODUCER: Conrad Noddin for Malibu Video Productions
Horse, Wild Ride Alex dawson and Greg Gricus
Newly released in theatres, Wild Horse, Wild Ride is an award-winning documentary that is already gaining a lot of attention. The ﬁlm follows the journey of some of the participants in the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge -- an event that pairs 100 mustangs up with trainers. At the end of 100 days each partnership showcases their skills, competing for the title and prize money. After the event the horses are offered for adoption at auction. Thousands of mustangs are rounded up yearly in the United States, and the Mustang Makeover program ensures that some of these horses receive the necessary training to be more attractive to adoptive homes. This stunning and tasteful documentary tracks the progress of eight participants and their horses, exploring the bond between horse and human, and whether wild spirits can really be tamed.
PRODUCER: Fish Creek Films
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Feeding technology to mimic the natural grazing habits of your horse.
Horses are grazing animals and their stomachs are designed to handle a slow feed intake. Over time, we have adapted their feeding programs to be more convenient for us, often feeding larger grain meals two to three times per day. The iFEED system was developed based on the simple concept of adapting how horses are being fed in the barn to how horses graze on the pastures. Developed in Denmark in 1995 by Christian T. Dahl, the system has been used by European horse owners who understand the benefit of feeding their horses multiple, smaller meals throughout the course of the day for over twelve years now. The
automated feed dispenser system can be set to feed your horse anywhere from 1 to 720 times in a 24-hour period at 15 different portion settings. Feeding your horse many small meals each day can help eliminate undigested feed and many of the common digestive diseases found today such as colic and ulcers. Your horse can better absorb essential nutrients, and smaller portions create less spillage. The barn will be quieter for it, too – the feeding system helps alleviate boredom, and creates a calmer environment during and leading up to feed time since there is no longer the daily anticipation of “grain time”.
Here at Kolding Stallion Center, we have used the iFEED system in all of our stables since 2003. We have saved 20-25% in feed during this time due to the improved feed intake and reduction in feed waste. This has meant that the investment in the iFEED system was recovered in less than 1 year. Since the feeders only need to be ﬁlled once a day, the savings in time is also signiﬁcant. … In my opinion, this is the innovation of the millennium within horse welfare and horsemanship. – Poul-Erik Lohmann At Enggården Ridecenter, we have approx. 50 horses, 30 of which have been fed using iFEED feeders since 2007. We feed rolled oats and have experienced savings of 20% since installation. The horses are calm during feeding time and we have not experienced a single case of digestive disorders for any of our horses since we started using the automated feeders.
HOlisTiC VeTeRiNaRY adViCe
TALKING WITH DR. CHERYL DETAMORE CHERYL L. DETAMORE, DVM, HAS PRACTICED EQUINE MEDICINE FOR OVER 14 YEARS, INCLUDING A STINT SPECIALIZING IN THOROUGHBRED HORSES IN THE HEART OF KENTUCKY’S HORSE COUNTRY. A GRADUATE OF THE TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE, DR. DETAMORE NOW PRACTICES INTEGRATIVE VETERINARY MEDICINE IN VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA, WHERE SHE DEVELOPED AND PRODUCES MELIHEAL ALL PURPOSE HEALING SALVE™, AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR A WIDE RANGE OF EQUINE AILMENTS—FROM SKIN INFECTIONS AND ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO SERIOUS WOUNDS AND SOFT-TISSUE INJURIES, AND MELIHEAL CANINE WONDER SALVE™ FOR DOGS. MELIHEAL.COM SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO: HOLISTIC VETERINARY ADVICE.
VETERINARY COLUMNISTS RESPOND TO QUESTIONS IN THIS COLUMN ONLY. WE CANNOT RESPOND TO EVERY QUESTION.
COLUMN IS FOR INFORMATION
PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT MEANT TO REPLACE VETERINARY CARE.
PLEASE CONSULT YOUR
VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING YOUR HORSE ANY REMEDIES.
q q I am giving my horse aloe juice because he is prone to ulcers. I heard someone say that aloe can “cool down” the stomach too much – is there any truth to this?
Aloe has a soothing effect on the stomach, but no real cooling effect – that’s primarily an attribute of the herb on the skin. This natural stomach soother aids in healing gastric ulcers due to its ability to stimulate new cell production, and acts as a protectant against stomach erosions. While aloe juice is a good choice for mild ulcers, and a great choice for prevention of future erosions, I prefer initial medical treatment with omeprazole in moderate to severe cases. Please consult your veterinarian for a deﬁnitive diagnosis.
I have a mare that sustained a suspensory injury over a year ago and has been back in work and on full day turnout for several months. We put sports medicine boots on her when she goes outside. I am having trouble deciding whether or not the boots are still necessary – they make me feel better, but I’m not sure they are doing anything for her. Is there a certain point after a tendon/ligament injury where boots/support aren’t overly helpful? With three distinct phases, most ligament injuries take at least a year to heal. The acute stage is the ﬁrst month after injury, when the main objective is to minimize inﬂammation. This is followed by the subacute stage, which usually lasts up to three months after the injury occurs. During this stage, the goal is to repair the ligament. Approximately three months after the onset of the injury, the so-called chronic phase begins. During this period, the aim is to take the necessary steps to prevent re-injury once the ligament is healed. At this point, your mare is as sound as possible; and although I don’t think support boots are necessary for turnout, continue to apply them for work.
q My horse is eating the purple thistles in his paddock. I understand that the ďŹ‚owers can be therapeutic, but should I be worried about him getting the thorns stuck in his mouth?
When it comes to purple thistles, apparently the risk of a little tickle is well worth the tasty reward. And while most horses eat them without any detrimental effects, check your fellow periodically for any problems. Horses use their lips to grasp food, so pay special attention to his outer mouth. The tongue, in general, is more durable; and since the cheek teeth grind pretty much anything in their path, injury beyond the mouth is unlikely. Furthermore, thistles generally remain in one piece, so individual thorns are not a real concern.
DID YOU KNOW? MILK THISTLE BOOSTS ANTIOXIDANT PRODUCTION AND CAN HELP TO SUPPORT LIVER FUNCTION.
q My mare was kicked in the hind leg several months ago, and the lymph system was damaged. She still stocks up fairly badly/ consistently in that leg, and I am concerned that we may have issues with lymphangitis down the road. Do you have any daily management suggestions to help prevent this from happening?
In general, Mother Nature is the best remedy for this condition. Exercise is important to stimulate circulation and reduce swelling. If your mare is lazy and tends to just loaf around, forced exercise is essential, at least 20 minutes twice a day. This is especially important in hot weather when swelling is more prevalent. And it goes without saying: stalling is counter productive, turnout is best. Continued on page 58. equine wellness
Hydrotherapy is another means to reduce stocking up. For optimal beneﬁts perform this water treatment at least twice a day, for a minimum of 20 minutes per session. Removing the spray nozzle (never use pressure) and using a gentle stream from the hose, start directing water well above the part of the leg you are treating, allowing it to run down the length of the limb. And yes, lymphangitis is a major concern when circulation is compromised and healing is impaired. Severe swelling of the limb (double or triple in size) is the primary symptom of lymphangitis. In the early stages the swelling has a pitting appearance – in later stages, a ﬁrm appearance. Upon inspection, some kind of wound is generally present, which serves as a point of entry for infection. Insect bites are a common culprit, so use a good quality repellent regularly. And, of course, inspect your mare on a daily basis for any additional swelling.
q My horse had an allergic reaction to something (we’re still working on figuring out what), and she as covered in hives. The hives were weeping a bit, and now her hair is starting to fall out in some spots. Is there something that I can bathe her with or spray on her to help her feel better, and help the hair grow back?
Well, I must recommend my own all-natural, all-purpose formulation – MeliHeal All Purpose Healing Salve. MeliHeal, comprised of honey, lanolin and a blend of essential oils, is a soothing choice for allergic reactions. Used since ancient times, honey is a natural healing agent that aids in boosting the immune system and seems to alleviate pain. The lanolin softens tissue, keeping it supple and moist to promote healthy healing, and is important for the re-growth of hair. The essential oils increase circulation and reduce swelling, with a alming aromatic effect. Apply a thin layer of MeliHeal to affected areas at least once a day until hair grows back.
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Classifieds associations THE CANADIAN ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORKERS ASSOCIATION (CAMBA) – Mission is to network, encourage and maintain a high standard of business practice within this growing industry & take advantage of the more affordable premiums of a group rate insurance. Canadian Inquiries: www.c-amba.org, firstname.lastname@example.org INTERNATIONAL ASSOC. OF ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORK/ ASSOC. OF CANINE WATER THERAPY – Welcome trained practitioners of Animal Massage & Bodywork. The IAAMB/ACWT supports and promotes the practitioners of complementary care for animals through networking, continuing education, website, online referrals, newsletters, insurance, annual educational conferences, lobbying and credentialing of schools. www.IAAMB.org
Bare Hoof TRIMMING THE HOOF WHISPERER – Barefoot trimming for your equines – horses and donkeys. We trim to promote hoof function and hoof health. Member of Nature’s Barefoot Hoofcare Guild, Inc. Serving York, Durham, Brock, Kawartha Lakes and Oro-Medonte. www.hoofwhisperer.org email@example.com or Call Paola di Paolo (705) 341-2758
Bitless Bridles NURTURAL HORSE BETTER BITLESS BRIDLE – Is ideal for those who want to school without a bit or are avid trail riders. The design is extremely durable, and the hardware is top-notch. This bridle is highly effective, never compromising safety or control. It is ideal for Western and English disciplines alike. Many riders will appreciate the variety of colour and material options available – truly an all-around bridle. www.nurturalhorse.com or (877) 877-5845
breeders ONCE UPON A FARM – Gypsy Vanner Horses for sale – all ages and training levels. Once Upon a Farm, Canada’s first Gypsy Vanner Farm, breeds traditional, classic Gypsy Vanners. www.gypsyvannerhorses.ca or call for an appointment to visit the farm. (613) 476-5107
COMMUNICATORS JANET DOBBS – WORKSHOPS AND CONSULTATIONS. Animal communication, Animal/Human Reiki. Deepening the bond between animals and humans. For information about hosting a workshop in your area. firstname.lastname@example.org, (703) 648-1866 or www.animalparadisecommunication.com
Equine Events – Exhibitors Wanted HOLISTIC HORSE AFFAIR – Over 15,000 attendees in 3 days? Where? The Holistic Horse Affair at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver, CO from March 8-10, 2013. Join us as a vendor. www.Holistic-Herd.com email@example.com (970) 631-7812
natural products CALIFORNIA TRACE – Is a concentrated trace mineral supplement designed for horses on west coast forage diets. In addition to the balanced trace minerals, each serving contains biotin, vitamin A, vitamin E, lysine and methionine. California Trace supports optimal hoof growth and healthy coats that resist sun bleaching and fading. A common comment from customers after just a few months of feeding California Trace is that their horses seem to “glow.” It’s not unusual to see the incidence of skin problems and allergies decrease over time while feeding California Trace. www.californiatrace.com or (877) 632-3939 ECOLICIOUS EQUESTRIAN – Detox your grooming routine with natural earth friendly horse care products so delicious, you’ll want to borrow them from your horse. 100% Free of Nasty Chemicals, Silicones & Parabens. 100% Naturally Derived & Organic Human Grade Ingredients, Plant Extracts & Essential Oils. www.ecoliciousequestrian.com firstname.lastname@example.org (877) 317-2572 FOR LOVE OF THE HORSE – Natural Herbal Horse Health Care. Contemporary Chinese Herbal Solutions precisely formulated to target the root of the issue: Immune Health, Insulin Resistance, Laminitis, Hoof Abscesses, Gastric Ulcers, Allergic Skin Reactions, Pain Relief, Uveitis and more. Nourish your Horse’s Health at the Source. (866) 537-7336 www.forloveofthehorse.com HEALTH-E is the most potent equine vitamin E in the country at over 16,000 units/oz. Contains all 8 forms of vitamin E including the natural form for complete protection. Lowest price per unit in the USA. www.equinemedsurg.com email@example.com (610) 436-5154
HORSE & DOG TREATS – Canadian made – no additives or preservatives. Your horses and dogs will love it! We work closely with and support our retailers – check us out @ www.barnies.ca or call (905) 767-8372 HORSE QUENCHER™ - the “official hydration product” @ the 2008 Olympics - contains 100% natural grains and flavors that will entice your horse to drink! Prevent dehydration - your inexpensive “health insurance”. Seeking Canadian Dealers! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ● www.horsequencher.ca SEABUCK CANADA – Seabuck is a natural equine health product and performance product for all classes and breeds supporting healthy digestive function, maintain health skin and coat, and promote healthy reproductive function. www.professionaledgeequinemassage.com ● email@example.com ● (519) 652-2789 THE PERFECT HORSE™ - Organic Blue Green Algae is the single most nutrient dense food on the planet with naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals and amino acids; all are provided in The Perfect Horse (E3Live® FOR HORSES) Our product sells itself; other make claims, we guarantee results. Join a winning team at www.The-Perfect-Horse.com ● (877) 357-7187 ● firstname.lastname@example.org
schools & training INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free brochure: (800) 251-0007, wshaw1@ bright.net, www.integratedtouchtherapy.com
supplements PERFORMANCE EQUINE USA – Magnesium Deficiency – What you need to know! Low Magnesium levels may be the culprit for behavior issues. Chronically sore back, works up not down, inconsistent, spooky, wary, repetitive motion. www.equinemagnesium.com ● (707) 766-8624
Retailers & Distributors Wanted EQUINE LIGHT THERAPY – Many veterinarians and therapists offer their clients the healing benefits of photonic energy with our Equine Light Therapy Pads! Contact us to learn more about the advantages of offering them through your practice! According to “Gospel”…Equine Light Therapy/Canine Light Therapy. www.equinelighttherapy.com, email@example.com, (615) 293-3025
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EVENTS Spruce Meadows Masters Sept 5-9 2012 - Calgary, AB Three full days of clinics, demonstrations, seminars, kids activities, shopping and equestrian fun, Mustang adoption, Horse Rescue Initiative, Trail Challenge, Retired Race Horse Training Project. Equine Extravaganza brings the best in everything equine to our attendees. Attend demonstrations on dressage, eventing, jumping, western pleasure, gaited horses, general training, driving, and more are combined with great family entertainment, educational seminars, breed demonstrations, the best vendors the horse industry has to offer, trailer shopping extravaganza, and so much more!! For more information: (410) 349-9333 email@example.com www.equineextravaganza.com
The Royal Winter Fair November 2-11, 2012 – Toronto, ON The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. Where Canadian and International breeders, growers and exhibitors are declared champions and where hundreds of thousands of attendees come to learn, compete, shop and have a great time with friends and family.
Enjoy one-stop shopping at Equine Affaire’s huge trade show with more than 475 of the nation’s leading equine-related retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and organizations. For more information: (740) 845-0085 firstname.lastname@example.org www.equineaffair.com/massachusetts
“Horse at Balance” Hands-On Clinic November 11-12, 2012 – Brooklyn, WI A weekend of learning hands-on techniques to increase comfort, range of motion, and comfort for the horse, with outcomes that improve training, ﬂexibility, and the bond between horse and rider like no other. All techniques are covered in depth, demonstrated, and then applied by participants on horses, with instructor hands-on assistance, helping you to not only learn the mechanics of the moves, but develop the feel, and reap the results! With written guidelines, hands-on practice, and instructor one-on-one, it really is the best way to learn this amazing process.
•Get the facts behind medications and your legal limitations. •Learn resourceful skills to perform joint treatments in the ﬁeld. •Develop your understanding of areas of equine health that are inevitably addressed in practice, including dermatology, ophthalmology and dentistry. •Master the form and function of the foot for complete diagnostic competency. •Observe ethical standards of conduct to uphold your practice’s integrity. •Prepare for critical care scenarios. Start planning now for a memorable trip to California. View the Educational Program, make your hotel reservations and register for the meeting! For more information: (800) 443-0177 aaepofﬁce@aaep.org www.aaep.org
With Instructor Tamara Parr, CEB Cost: $300 per participant The Horse First Farm Brooklyn, WI www.thehorseﬁrst.net
For more information: (416) 263-3400 email@example.com www.royalfair.org
For more information or to register: www.equineatparr.com
Equine Affair November 8-11, 2012 – Springfield, MA
During the AAEP’s 58th Annual Convention, you’ll go from “how to” to “can do” as you develop knowledge that will transition to your day-to-day treatment of patients. The educational program will give you the opportunity to:
AAEP 58th Annual Convention December 1-5, 2012 – Anaheim, CA
Equine Affaire’s legendary educational program forms the cornerstone of the event. Soak up information and advice at more than 230 clinics, seminars, and demonstrations on a wide variety of equestrian sports and horse training, management, health, and business topics.
•Learn imaging techniques to get a fast, clear picture of the problem.
Post your event online at: equinewellnessmagazine.com/events 62